The cultural turn in lifestyle research

Overview and reflections

Authored by: Gokcen Coskuner-Balli

The Routledge Companion to Critical Marketing

Print publication date:  September  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138641402
eBook ISBN: 9781315630526
Adobe ISBN:


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In contemporary societies, lifestyle concerns the very core of self-identity as well as its making and remaking. We each make choices of what to eat, how to dress, and how to spend our time. These choices reflect values and tastes that comprise collectivities in which we are similar to one another and different from others, both in the distribution of disposable incomes and the motivations that underlie such distributions (Holt, 1997; Zablocki & Kanter, 1976). The premise that consumers can be grouped into meaningful clusters based on these shared values and tastes, rather than solely on their social class and demographic background led to a rich stream of research within marketing (Wells, 1975). The early scholarly research focused on developing tools to identify distinct lifestyle segments. While practical and commonly adopted, this approach did not necessarily concern itself with power relations or the institutional and historical shaping of consumption patterns (Fırat & Dholakia, 2003; Tadajewski, 2010).

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