What is a LIFESTYLE? According to The Dictionary Definition, it is “an apartment in which people live in an organized group under similar but not exact, identical behavioral rules and aims, in order to facilitate social interaction”. It was first used in referring to an apartment building designed for families in the nineteen thirties, by the sociologist and thinker Thorsten von Hagens. The term was first introduced by Austrian psychologist Alfred Adler and Max Weber in their 1929 book, The Case of Miss R. This popular concept was used by the Nazis to separate Jews from the non-jewish population in German-occupied Europe.
How different can LIFESTYLE be from other styles of life? LIFESTYLE differs in that it focuses on a person’s individual traits and attitudes, rather than their group membership or community. Individualistic LIFESTYLE would be very different than communal or collectivistic LIFESTYLE. And Adler’s individualistic form of LIFESTYLE is quite different from the more collectivistic, de vie, and synthesistic lifestyles.
How different can LIFESTYLE be from other lifestyle approaches? One way in which LIFESTYLE differs from other perspectives is its focus on individual characteristics. By focusing on how people view themselves, LIFESTYLE shows how individual attitudes are related to cultural and social factors. These factors can affect all aspects of a person’s life, including family, work, leisure time, and religion. Furthermore, LIFESTYLE sheds light on the role emotions play in human life-living and acting out their particular life-style. Adorno and his school also focused on how emotions influence behavior.
Unlike the mass culture that Adorno described, LIFESTYLE is not primarily concerned with creating a society out of individual lives. The lifestyles presented are actually more like art forms-experiences to be shared by all members of a community. As such, many of the problems of the mass culture are also present in LIFESTYLE, as its focus on individualism is challenged by the realities of shared life-style. Although Adorno and his followers were ahead of their time when they wrote Lifestyles, many critics still believe that their book promoted a particular type of self-help, rather than an overall view of human life.
Charles Leeper’s stili di vita describes a young girl growing up in Uruguay during the 1950s. LIFESTYLE takes the reader on a journey through her family’s internal battles-discoveries, conflicts, and triumphs as her community-work plays out in the streets. Although Leeper repeatedly makes clear that the emphasis is on family life, some of the book’s scenes are very graphic, including one where a pregnant woman is beaten and killed by a gang for trying to help an old man who is afflicted with leprosy. In addition, some of the content is very disturbing, especially considering the state of public health at the time.
This is just one of the best lifestyle photographs and lifestyle photography session guides that I have ever come across. Charles Leeper was a very insightful and skilled photographer. His camera work and focus are stunning. For anyone serious about getting the most out of a photography session, I highly recommend LIFESTYLE.