The Relationship Between Media and Lifestyle

Lifestyle, according to the Merriam Webster’s dictionary, is “the general habits, interests, attitudes, and behaviors of a person, social group, or community.” The word was first introduced by Austrian psychiatrist Alfred Adler in his famous article, The Case of Miss R. in 1929. The meaning of the term has since then been expanded to include a person’s behavior or attitude, as well as their interests.


The concept of the word lifestyle has been expanded into two areas: one deals with social aspects such as those surrounding a person’s personality and influence, and the second deals with personal factors such as those surrounding and influencing one’s career. A good example of a lifestyle content is found in the work of American sociologist Charlesylum, who examined the way that the media, which includes both television and print, influenced the manner in which people evaluated their lives. According to his research, the lifestyle content of one demographic group became increasingly different from that of another after watching a series or two on either station. While Adler’s original definition of the word was useful, he had it stretched when it came to the aspect of the individual.

In the work of American psychologist Philip Zimbardo, the term lifestyle is used to describe a specific form of ritual in which an individual achieves some kind of goal. Rituals can take many forms, from the type of food one eats to the types of clothes one wears. To Zimbardo, ritual is one of the main drivers behind the crime. To add to the meaning, his personal consumption of ritual and its effects are what captures the attention of the viewer. In his most famous experiment, the prison within the prison was turned into a massive shopping mall, complete with food vendors, gambling and drinking dens, and “clothing provisioned shops”. Within a few days of the establishment of the mall, a mass number of people began to populate the mall, using it as a place to go and purchase whatever they desired from the items sold in the stores.