Lifestyle and Leisure Theory

Authored by: A. J. Veal

Routledge Handbook of Leisure Studies

Print publication date:  April  2013
Online publication date:  July  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415697170
eBook ISBN: 9780203140505
Adobe ISBN: 9781136495595


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Anthony Giddens (1991: 81) has defined lifestyle as ‘a more or less integrated set of practices which an individual embraces, not only because such practices fulfil utilitarian needs, but because they give material form to a particular narrative of self-identity’. While this and other definitions emphasize individual choice, it is clear that lifestyle and self-identity are also group phenomena, as Muggleton (2000: 66) clearly demonstrates in regard to youth subcultures. Among the ‘practices’ which constitute a lifestyle are leisure activities, but also ‘one’s body, clothes, speech, … eating and drinking preferences, home, car … etc.’ (Featherstone, 1987: 343). One school of thought also includes within the definition of lifestyle, individual ‘beliefs, values, or norms of daily behaviour’ and ‘the way in which each person lives the norms of the group, class or global society to which he/she belongs’ (Ruiz, 1989: 158). Furthermore, Giddens (1991: 81–2) argues that ‘it would be wrong to suppose that lifestyle only relates to activities outside of work. … choice of work and work milieu forms a basic element of lifestyle orientations’.

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