The term was originally used by Austrian psychologist Alfred Adler (1870-1937). The term was introduced in the 1950s as a derivative of that of style in modernist art.[clarification needed] The term refers to a combination of determining intangible or tangible factors. Tangible factors relate specifically to demographic variables, i.e. an individuals demographic profile, whereas intangible factors concern the psychological aspects of an individual such as personal values, preferences, and outlooks.
A rural environment has different lifestyles compared to an urban metropolis. Location is important even within an urban scope. The nature of the neighborhood in which a person resides affects the set of lifestyles available to that person due to differences between various neighborhoods' degrees of affluence and proximity to natural and cultural environments. For example, in areas within a close proximity to the sea, a surf culture or lifestyle is often present.
A lifestyle typically reflects an individual's attitudes, way of life, values or world view. Therefore, a lifestyle is a means of forging a sense of self and to create cultural symbols that resonate with personal identity. Not all aspects of a lifestyle are voluntary. Surrounding social and technical systems can constrain the lifestyle choices available to the individual and the symbols she/he is able to project to others and the self.
The lines between personal identity and the everyday doings that signal a particular lifestyle become blurred in modern society. For example, "green lifestyle" means holding beliefs and engaging in activities that consume fewer resources and produce less harmful waste (i.e. a smaller ecological footprint), and deriving a sense of self from holding these beliefs and engaging in these activities. Some commentators argue that, in modernity, the cornerstone of lifestyle construction is consumption behavior, which offers the possibility to create and further individualize the self with different products or services that signal different ways of life.
Lifestyle may include views on politics, religion, health, intimacy, and more. All of these aspects play a role in shaping someone's lifestyle.  In the magazine and television industries, "lifestyle" is used to describe a category of publications or programs.
More interestingly, a healthy or unhealthy lifestyle will most likely be transmitted across generations. According to the study done by Case et al. (2002), when a 0-3 year old child has a mother who practices a healthy lifestyle, this child will be 27% more likely to become healthy and adopt the same lifestyle. For instance, high income parents are more likely to eat organic food, have time to exercise, and provide the best living condition to their children. On the other hand, low income parents are more likely to participate in unhealthy activities such as smoking to help them release poverty-related stress and depression. Parents are the first teacher for every child. Everything that parents do will be very likely transferred to their children through the learning process.
- I have come to know hundreds of young people who have found that illness or bingeing on drugs and sugar became the doorway to health. Once they reestablished their own health, we had in common our interest in food. If one can use that overworked word lifestyle, we shared a sugarfree lifestyle. I kept in touch with many of them in campuses and communes, through their travels here and abroad and everywhere. One day you meet them in Boston. The next week you run into them in southern California.
Life style research can contribute to the question of the relevance of the class concept.
"Life-styles", the culture industry’s recycling of style in art, represent the transformation of an aesthetic category, which once possessed a moment of negativity [shocking, emancipatory], into a quality of commodity consumption.
In our drafts we spoke of "mass culture". We replaced that expression with "culture industry" in order to exclude from the outset the interpretation agreeable to its advocates: that it is a matter of something like a culture that arises spontaneously from the masses themselves, the contemporary form of popular art.
Diversity is more effectively present in mass media than previously, but this is not an obvious or unequivocal gain. By the late 1950s the homogenization of consciousness had become counterproductive for the purposes of capital expansion; new needs for new commodities had to be created, and this required the reintroduction of the minimal negativity that had been previously eliminated. The cult of the new that had been the prerogative of art throughout the modernist epoch into the period of post-war unification and stabilization has returned to capital expansion from which it originally sprang. But this negativity is neither shocking nor emancipatory since it does not presage a transformation of the fundamental structures of everyday life. On the contrary, through the culture industry capital has co-opted the dynamics of negation both diachronically in its restless production of new and "different" commodities and synchronically in its promotion of alternative "life-styles".
- Lifestyle from Merriam-Webster's Dictionary
- Lynn R. Kahle, Angeline G. Close (2011). Consumer Behavior Knowledge for Effective Sports and Event Marketing. New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-87358-1.
- Online Etymology Dictionary
- Bernstein (1991) p.23
- Spaargaren, G., and B. VanVliet (2000) "Lifestyle, Consumption and the Environment: The Ecological Modernisation of Domestic Consumption", Environmental Politics 9(1): 50-75.
- Giddens, A. (1991) Modernity and self-identity: self and society in the late modern age, Cambridge: Polity Press
- Lynn R. Kahle, Eda Gurel-Atay, Eds (2014). Communicating Sustainability for the Green Economy. New York: M.E. Sharpe. ISBN 978-0-7656-3680-5.
- Ropke, I. (1999) "The Dynamics of Willingness to Consume", Ecological Economics 28: 399-420.
- Giuffrâe, K., & DiGeronimo, T. (1999) Care and Feeding of Your Brain : How Diet and Environment Affect What You Think and Feel, Career Press.
- Ponthiere G. (2011) "Mortality, Family and Lifestyles", Journal of Family and Economic Issues 32 (2): 175-190
- Case, A., Lubotsky D. & Paxson C. (2002) "Economic Status and Health in Childhood: The Origins of the Gradient", The American Economic Review 92(5): 1308-1334
- William Dufty (1975) Sugar Blues, page 204
- Bögenhold, Dieter. "Social Inequality and the Sociology of Life Style: Material and Cultural Aspects of Social Stratification". American Journal of Economics and Sociology. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
- Adorno  p.98
- Adorno  "Culture Industry Reconsidered," in Adorno (1991)
- Adorno (1991) The Culture Industry - Selected essays on mass culture
- Burkle, F. M. (2004)
- Bernstein, J. M. (1991) "Introduction," in Adorno (1991)