Appearance Is Everything
In the vivid introductory book entitled Lifestyles by David Chaney, he describes the clarity of lifestyle. He offers a brief blend of traditional ways of how people use the term in sociological explanations. Sociologists seek to designate the forms of modern society. In addition to being sociological, the book reveals people’s lifestyles in determining attitudes and values. It also shows wealth and social position in society in the modern world. It reveals how society should classify it, how the term has become increasingly important, and what a lifestyle really is. Why is lifestyle becoming increasingly important today, and does it mean personal expression or a new form of exploitation?
On the one hand, people still think that style is everything. However, the attention of scientists, academics, or cultural theorists is still relatively rare. People must be aware that lifestyle is a term that is currently on the rise among cultural studies enthusiasts. However, without realizing it, confusion arises when the term easily attaches to people’s thinking. Finally, the term has become everything. At the same time, it is meaningless. “Appearance is everything.” But, social life consists primarily of ritualized theatrical performances. People act as if on stage. They used space and rituals of social interaction to facilitate everyday social life.
The Various Forms of Lifestyles
John Fiske describes the definition of style as derived from several figures. The word “style” in English comes from the Greek “stylus”, which means “writing” or “handwriting.” Meyer Schapiro defines style as the constant and sometimes constant elements, qualities, and expressions of individuals and groups. Other definitions include lifestyle and civilized style. However, a fairly clear definition, as stated by Alvin Toffler, is a tool used by individuals to show their identification with certain subcultures. Each lifestyle is composed of a mosaic of items, namely super products that provide a way of organizing products and ideas.
Oppositely, David Chaney describes lifestyles with various clarity. However, the interrelationship is its main characteristic. Lifestyle is part of the daily social life of the modern world. It is a special form of modern status grouping. Patterns of action distinguish one person from another. However, it can help understand what people do and whether what they do is meaningful to them. Style can be very personal and also refer to cultural and historical identities. In essence, the lifestyle is a symbol of the prestige of a class. It can be fashionable where its spread through mass communication penetrates the boundaries of social stratification.
Identity and Advertising
A lifestyle in a community can be a certain characteristic of that community. In other words, people can view their lifestyle as an identity for membership in a social stratum. Lifestyle as an identity includes affinity politics, as a marker of differences, whether class, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or age. It is related to the urban subculture or fans of music, sports, and other hobbies. Social identity is an intrinsic part of the lifestyle phenomenon. In essence, they are a category of members in which people use lifestyle in their daily life. They identify and explain the existence of a broader identity complex. Expressly, lifestyle becomes an interpretive source in people’s daily lives.
Advertising has also become a lifestyle factory. However, they have also improved it through industrial image engineering. They gave birth to public relations practitioners in the world of business and spectacle. In the media age, one doesn’t have to be as great as Gandhi or Churchill. To be a hero or a heroine, one does not always have to create a character. Just like the fashion cycle in the world of stars, it is very easy to become a star or celebrity. The trend of the celebrity journalism phenomenon also exists to trivially exaggerate the level of celebrity behavior. Therefore, from celebrities, by celebrities, and for celebrities is a trivial celebration for society.
The Emancipation of Lifestyle
If people understand lifestyle as an existential project rather than the consequences of a marketing program, then lifestyle should have normative, political, as well as aesthetic implications. David Chaney distinguishes between political traditions in the clarity of lifestyles. Activists seek to improve the organization of collective life to increase individual autonomy and the development of more recent politics of life. In this view, lifestyle will determine an order, a set of principles or criteria for every choice an individual makes in his daily life. How people choose their lifestyle and what that lifestyle means will continue to be one of the most important psychological issues in the future.
Lifestyle runs as a set of expectations that act as a form of controlled control over the emergence of social discontent in mass society. However, people are beginning to see ways of showing lifestyles as patterns of action and as a different type of social grouping, embedded in the social fabric of modernity. In short, lifestyle is an artificial creation or adoption in addition to being an interpretive source. People can use or dispose of it at will, can play it with a degree of irony and self-satisfaction.
The Consumer Culture of Modernity
The rethinking of the modernization’s dynamics involves a shift from the importance’s view of emphasizing that modernity involves the replacement of the early modern world and Medieval Europe which is dominated by the view of God’s destiny by the world’s development of knowledge and science regarding the disclosure of the nature’s secrets and rational exploration. Consumerism has become the center of the social development of modernity. Consumer culture is a more recent innovation. The strength of the notion of consumer culture depends on the possibility of mass marketing alongside mass advertising. The transformation of the natural order is a basic cultural theme.
The social and cultural history of the development of leisure investment in the 20th century was largely marked by the opening up of new industries of mass entertainment. People will point to mass publishing, the rise of the radio and television industry, and related forms of entertainment such as video games, popular photography, video recording, and pop music. Both in stores and at home, the development of electronics is another example of large capital investment in leisure facilities. David Chaney tries to show that conventional expectations of leisure clarity cannot be understood without placing them in the social and cultural history of the lifestyles and modern world.
The Material Culture of Commodity
When it comes to the outside of the lifestyle, some things are as real as the chairs that each person uses to decorate their living rooms. However, it is also the form and origin of the materials and arrangements used and where and how the production process is carried out. There are three layers: how much the individual knows about all of the elements, what kind of message people think of, and where and who they hear about changing lifestyle choices. The commodity itself is transformed from an ideal use-value and an imagined meaning into a material and symbolic object of the experience lived.
The idea that the everyday use of material culture is always placed in the context of accepted traditions, both local and created, introduces possible relevance. Lifestyle, as Chaney has emphasized, is a way of playing out new forms of identity. The creative energies involved in articulating and sustaining new patterns of social association are in a very basic sense of design form, of dealing with and using the abundance of symbolic cultural material in mass society to form new cultural forms.
The Social Discourse
The era of the modern world is marked by the emergence of dominant secular ideologies that articulate social conflicts based on different levels and forms of class consciousness. The search for a social explanation is itself a well-known example of what Lyotard calls the grand narratives of modernity for Chaney. While the idea used to address the nation-state is fundamental to social thought, the current idea deals with spaces that are distinguished based on democratic discourse and feminist social theory.
Thus, Chaney considers that lifestyle rejects any unification into a grand narrative that authoritatively describes forms of social structure as an explanation of social discourse. It appears that production and distribution organizations cater to lifestyle issues in terms that transcend national boundaries and ridicule any notion of national culture despite not destroying local experience. So far, lifestyle is a signal of increasing fallacy in the basic terms of modern social discourse. To be sure, society makes an indirect recognition of the emergence of structural forms of what the postmodern era presents: public space and private space.
- Chaney, D. (2002). From ways of life to lifestyle: rethinking culture as ideology and sensibility (pp. 85-98). Routledge.
- Chaney, D. (2012). Lifestyles. Routledge.
- Fiske, J. (2010). Understanding popular culture. Routledge.
- Schapiro, M. (1994). Theory and philosophy of art: Style, artist, and society (Vol. 4). New York: George Braziller.
- Toffler, A., & Alvin, T. (1980). The third wave (Vol. 484). New York: Bantam Books.