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  1. #11
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    I'm from a pretty conservative religioius area, so I hear the word lifestyle thrown around a lot to describe people who's way of life is different than the speaker's in a manner in which they disapprove For instance- my grandmother saying "I just don't approve of the immoral lifestyles that today's college students live" or classmates saying "well, homosexuality is just a lifestyle" (implying that it's something that people choose and such).

    It's more of the tone in which the term is spoken than the word itself I think- but there's definite associations and it's annoying
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  2. #12
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    lifestyle seems to have a negative connotation most of the time, and here's my theory about it.

    people tend to make dispositional attributions for others and situational ones for themselves (the fundamental attribution error). eg: neither me nor my roomate cleaned up: i didn't do it because i was busy with homework, he didn't do it because he's a lazy pig.

    there are 2 exceptions to the fundamental attribution error:
    1) you do something awesome, and you explain it by a dispositional attribution about yourself (because it makes you feel better than just making a situational attribution)
    2) someone else (that you don't like) does something awesome, and you explain it by a situational attribution.

    given all this: if you're making a dispositional attribution about someone else, it's probably negative. (unless it benefits you somehow to think of them positively)

  3. #13
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Hmmm . . . this makes me want to go around talking about my 'lifestyle' maybe in a snooty tone. "Viewing professional wrestling competitions doesn't fit with my lifestyle. We're more into sci-fi at my house. harumph!"
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
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  4. #14
    Free-Rangin' Librarian Jae Rae's Avatar
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    Interesting thread.

    "Lifestyle" can be used in a neutral way, as in "healthy lifestyle" but it's also used to put down disapproved ways of living. It's often used as shorthand for "those people are doing something I'd never do."

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  5. #15
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    When I hear the word "lifestyle" I think of a sticker I encountered in a bathroom when I was a freshman in college. It had an advertisement on it that read "Alternative Lifestyles For a catalogue of our products please send a correspondence to this address...." It stuck with me because the advertisement was vague, and I was interested because it used the word "alternative". After all I liked "alternative music", so I'd probably like this "alternative lifestyles" stuff. I never sent in for a catalogue though, because I didn't have a pen on me, and I left the sticker in case the advertisement was more useful to someone who had an idea of what it was specifically talking about.
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  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer
    In any case, the whole thing made me consider the potential uses and purpose of such a phrase -- why did it evolve, and what roles does it serve in discussion and human social politics?
    The phrase may have evolved but people have always been aware of different 'lifestyles' for thousands of years. The Romans live "this way and differently than we do", the Egyptians "this way and differently than we do". Sometimes, cultures (and subcultures) mix and they take from the other want they like. With religions, fashions, literature and so on.

    Some people, nowadays or thenadays err, may not even be aware that the word lifestyle can be seen as derogatory. Perhaps they are very aware or aware of some but not others. I think it's largely an individual calling on how one perceives what's being said and if one is conscious enough in knowing that there might be ignorance, from the person mispercieving the word or deliberately doing so, in determinging if it'll affect them and how they might react to it if they choose to. Of course, this is also if the individual isn't ignorant of their own perceptions of the word or is aware there may be good differences from the other POV. Differences is fine, it's if one deems it a threat and how one chooses to respond to that perceived threat which can be both a good and bad thing.

    There's no denying that terminology changes with its connotations changing or the mass perceptions of those words/terms changes as society changes to suit the new society's needs. It's now cool to say "that's so gay" even if the person isn't homophobic or the person is LGBT. So, they've clearly taken it out of it's original context to suit w/e agenda has been latched onto the word, ignorantly or believing it to be empowerment that there's freedom in the word (I largely feel it's ignorance). Later on, they may discard it for an ever more 'cool' word and it'll have never existed with those connotations in the new society's eyes.

    Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, Lifestyles of LGBT etc, shouldn't all be lumped or generalised but people mainly, out of ignorance, do so when viewing people who supposedly have the means or appear to look the same and that's a problem with connotations on lifestyle (or any word used for/against people/s, for that matter). That and the misunderstandings generated by fear of the unknown "lifestyle" (whether rich, poor, LGBT, Muslim etc) when people from one largely accepted "lifesytle" or have similarly accepted ones deliberatly spread hatred/fear in order to incite more hatred/fear of these 'other lifestyles'. Or even just to "casually" mock it. Or even those who may not fear or hate it but just misunderstand it or largely take their understanding from the ideas of others (media, friends etc) and adopt their own personal derivative of it. When those people, at least, come more into contact with various differences within that supposed "lifestyle" they are better able to comprehend that not everyone will act the same or believe the same. If this understanding translates into trying to understand other "lifestyles", then good for them. Don't think it happens much, IMO.

    I can see potential use in being what we foresee it to hold or wish it to hold to make it more positive or negative or neutral. I can see the purpose as given to the word-weilder who molds that potential into w/e meaning they want to derive or inflict onto it, positive or negative or neutral. It'll keep evolving so long as people do not make the term, itself, archaic. Perhaps there'll be a new word created just for that new society in the future.

  7. #17
    Rats off to ya! Mort Belfry's Avatar
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    It seems to be used by contrary people to describe somebody else, or used by somebody to describe themself in the face of contrary people.
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  8. #18
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    Delirious... just want to say how much I enjoy your posts... you are wise beyond your years in my opinion and I hope you see that as a compliment.


    I've stated how I use/view "lifestyle" but reading these posts, I hope you all will endulge an old grit. Has it, too, now become a "dirty" word among younger people today?

    Words do change.. for instance, my generation started "cool" and, for a time, that was an "uncool" word to use as it screamed "old." Now, based on reading here, it has come back into vogue. So, if one chooses to be PC, is "lifestyle" now off limits? And, if it has become so, what would be a PC replacement for it? Thanks.

  9. #19
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seanan View Post
    ...Words do change.. for instance, my generation started "cool" and, for a time, that was an "uncool" word to use as it screamed "old." Now, based on reading here, it has come back into vogue. So, if one chooses to be PC, is "lifestyle" now off limits? And, if it has become so, what would be a PC replacement for it? Thanks.
    I would love to hear this too, since I'm at the older edge of Gen X... and I am noticing a lot of changes in mentality and approach among late teens / young adults, let alone my younger children.

    (I think the Internet/Electronic Age has had a LARGE impact on cultural mind, for one... as well as the different generation of parents for the younger kids versus my generation. I was raised by Boomers influenced by the 50/60's. They were raised in the 80's/90's.)
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

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  10. #20
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    I think once they named a condom "Lifestyles," the word became irrevocably tainted with sexual undertones.

    Seriously though, "lifestyle" isn't always a dirty word IMO. I think it probably depends on who says it, and the likelihood that they are communicating a judgment (or trying not to). If you wanted to be safe, you could say "way of life" or something of that nature, to avoid the possibility of a knee-jerk reaction to the word "lifestyle."
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