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Structural Components of Lifestyle and Beyond: The Case of Hungary

Author(s): Tamás Keller | Péter Róbert

Journal: Studies of Transition States and Societies
ISSN 1736-874X

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 55;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: personal destinies | adaptation | post-socialist structural changes | and secondary sector

This paper deals with the question of when and how lifestyle and its components are important in social stratification. There is considerable consensus among scholars about the structure of the society being a consequence of hierarchical dimensions like occupation, income, or wealth. Some thirty years ago, largely based on Bourdieu’s “Distinction”, a new paradigm emerged highlighting the lifestyle components and the value-oriented cultural and material consumption in stratifi cation. The idea refl ects the empirical fi nding that inequality between social classes has largely decreased, giving priority to horizontal lifestyle differentiation instead of vertical inequality dimensions. From a theoretical viewpoint, a challenge in the approach is finding out to what extent lifestyle typology is of a non-vertical character in reality. This social determination of lifestyle is investigated for Hungary when comparing an occupation-based typology with a consumption-based one. On the one hand, results reveal that the effects of structural components on social status are stronger than those of lifestyle. On the other hand, lifestyle turns out to be less independent of social position and the top and bottom levels of the lifestyle typology are particularly predictable by structural measures.
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