CHL-20806 Lifestyles and Consumption


Studiepunten 6.00

Group work8
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. MG Bulkens
prof. dr. EWML de Vet
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. EWML de Vet
dr. C Sato
dr. ir. MG Bulkens
Examiner(s)prof. dr. EWML de Vet

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

CHL-12305; MCB-20806; qualitative methods (e.g. YSS-20306)

Continuation courses:

UEC-22306; CHL-20306; YSS-82312


Consumers are often treated as individual decision makers, however their choices are in fact embedded in all sorts of social, political and material contexts. In this course consumption practices are placed in such contexts, at the level of the household, at the level of lifestyles and at the level of societal change. The household is an important context for consumption as this is where most consumption occurs, consumer decisions are made, routines are lived and the everyday takes place. At a larger scale lifestyles, shared by people who do not know each other, form an important context for consumption. Such lifestyles can empirically be assessed as socio-cultural patterning of 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 societal level, consumption and lifestyles are affected by economic and political transformations, including modernization, sustainable development, economic (de-)growth and crisis, and welfare arrangements. The course will connect concrete empirical examples of specific lifestyles, e.g. related to food and sustainable development with more abstract theoretical perspectives on consumer society.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- explain socio-ecological theories on consumption and consumer society;
- distinguish relevant social, political and material contexts of consumption;
- analyse lifestyles and consumption patterns from a socio-ecological perspective; 
- collect relevant data on lifestyles & consumption and analyse this data using interpretive methodologies;
- evaluate the effect of societal transformations related to consumer society on lifestyles and consumption.


- lectures;
- group assignment (supported by tutorials).


- written exam with open questions (60%);
- written group assignment (40%);
To pass this course, each component requires a minimum mark of 5.50 and sufficient contribution to group assignments (tutorial attendance is mandatory).


To be announced.

Verplicht voor: BBCManagement and Consumer StudiesBScB: Spec. B - Consumer Studies3WD
Verplicht voor: WUCBHBSc Minor Consumer Behaviour3WD