From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
In sociology,a lifestyle is the way a person lives. This includes patterns of social relations, consumption, entertainment, and dress. A lifestyle typically also reflects an individual's attitudes, values or worldview.
Having a specific "lifestyle" means engaging in a characteristic bundle of behaviors that makes sense to both others and the self in different times and places. Therefore, a lifestyle can be used to forge a sense of self identity and to create cultural symbols for the way a person is. The behaviors and practices within lifestyles are a mixture of habits, conventional ways of doing things, and reasoned actions.
The term "lifestyle" first appeared in 1939. Alvin Toffler predicted an explosion of lifestyles ("subcults") as diversity increases in Post-industrial societies. Pre-modern societies did not require a term approaching sub-culture or "lifestyle", as different ways of living were expressed as entirely different cultures, religions, ethnicities or by an oppressed minority racial group. As such the minority culture was always seen as alien or other. "Lifestyles", by comparison, are accepted or partially accepted differences within the majority culture or group. This tolerance of differentiation within a majority culture seems to be associated with modernity and capitalism.