LIFESTYLE refers to an imaginary concept which can be applied to a wide variety of concepts, in order to explain many of the patterns of behavior which are universal among human beings. The theory is used to explain why human beings behave so differently, even when acting in similar situations. It is also used in order to explain how individuals can come to terms with certain attitudes, beliefs, values, and behaviors, even though they might not fully agree with these principles. For instance, two human beings who believe in democracy will find that they will disagree on some ethical issues, but will still act in the same way ( democracies generally work well, though).
LIFESTYLE is the abstract concept which results from the study of the various mass cultures which have developed throughout history. The term was first introduced by Austrian sociologist Alfred Adler in his famous book, The Case of Miss R. Which focused on the issue of a personal identity which is independent of one’s national origins or cultural background. According to Adler, individualism and collectivism are both derivative concepts of LIFESTYLE, and he illustrated this point in his work with several examples, such as that of the differences between socialism and capitalism, or between Eastern and Western philosophy. The theories of mass culture were taken over by theodor Adorno and Max Weber, who came to different conclusions regarding how societies develop through time and within different societies.
Weber claimed that LIFESTYLE was the product of a long process of evolution, while Adolph looked for a psychological basis for LIFESTYLE. Both argued for the importance of the masses in driving society, although they differed in their views on how to understand and deal with them. Adolph believed that individualism, which Weber rejected, was necessary for a healthy social culture, while Weber thought that a healthy mass culture needed both individualism and collectivism. In essence, they disagreed over whether there should be a place for the masses in the social world.
The ideas of the two philosophers would impact the way the left-leaning philosopher Karl von Mises took up LIFESTYLE. He maintained that people were motivated by self-interest, and that LIFESTYLE needed to be counterbalanced by a sense of social responsibility and community spirit. As part of his research into the lives of the rich and famous, von Mises undertook a study of the Roman Catholic hierarchy, and came to the conclusion that LIFESTYLE had its roots in that same elite class’s desire to maintain an orderly society above the average citizen. As part of his arguments, he drew upon St. Augustine’s ideas about virtue, which he used as a basis for his own belief that man could best serve himself through a return to simplicity, a return to the state of nature, in which there would be harmony and order.
In his book STILL THE TRADER, de Montesquieu described LIFESTYLE as a kind of fairy tale ideal, where the good guy had to be either selfless, heroic, or virtuous, while the bad guy was either evil, misguided, or perverted. According to de Montesquieu, LIFESTYLE needed to be counterbalanced by the fact that men who followed a particular lifestyle had to be either very rich or very poor, and that wealth and poverty were two sides of the same coin. While he did not apply this theory to all lifestyles, he saw LIFESTYLE as being distinctly different from most of the existing lifestyles in Western society, being based on a particular class of people who possessed the means to support a meaningful life style.
The combination of a life-style and a religion has become LIFESTYLE, although not without its critics. Not everyone agrees with LIFESTYLE, and some claim that it is a religion. But de Montesquieu considered LIFESTYLE to be his own private definition of what a good man should be like. Other cultures have seen LIFESTYLE as a way of life, and have applied aspects of it to their lives.