SCH-20806 Life Styles and Consumption


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Literature study
Problem-based learning16
Course coordinator(s)dr. HM van der Horst
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. A Niehof
dr. HM van der Horst
Examiner(s)dr. HM van der Horst
prof. dr. A Niehof

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:



While consumers are often treated as individual decision makers in research, their choices are in fact embedded in all sorts of social contexts. In this course consumer behavior is placed in such contexts, at the level of the household, at the level of lifestyles and at the level of societal change. The course will connect concrete empirical examples of specific lifestyles with more abstract theoretical perspectives on households, lifestyles and social transformation. The household is an important context for consumption as this is where most consumption takes place and consumer decisions are made. At a larger scale lifestyles, shared by people who do not know each other, form an important context for consumption. Such lifestyles can be assessed empirically as patterns in consumption, but they also have a socially binding effect and structure consumption choices. People and households who share the same lifestyle tend to interact with each other and make similar choices when confronted with new consumption options. At a macro scale consumption and lifestyles are affected by societal transformations, including modernization, economic growth, and welfare arrangements.

Learning outcomes:

After completing this course students are expected to:
- be familiar with sociological perspectives on the study of lifestyles and consumer patterns;
- be able to analyze the effect of various social contexts on consumption patterns;
- be able to understand consumption and lifestyle changes and diversity in the context of larger societal transformations.


- lectures;
- literature study;
- problem-oriented activities


Examination will consist of an exam on the lectures and the literature and an assessment of the problem-oriented activities.
Further written information on the course will be distributed at the first lecture.


To be announced.

Compulsory for: BBCManagement and Consumer StudiesBScB: Consumer Studies3WD
Restricted Optional for: MMEManagement, Economics and Consumer StudiesMScB: Consumer Studies3WD
Compulsory for: WUCBHBSc Minor Consumer Behaviour3WD