Puneet Varma (Editor)


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The expression lifeway is a fairly new technical term that is not yet in most general dictionaries and for which most textbooks instead still use "way of life". The American Heritage Dictionary defines a lifeway as: "1. A customary manner of living; a way of life. 2. A custom, practice, or art: the traditional lifeways of a tribal society."

In several disciplines, lifeway is used in the sense of the ecological position of human beings within a larger ecosystem - such as a food web. It is studied by cultural ecology, anthropological linguistics, and cultural anthropology. The most basic distinction usually made between lifeways is that between the hunter-gatherer (including fishers) and that of the farmer (including the shepherd, goatherd or rancher) who domesticates wildlife to raise for food and clothing.

Urban lifeways (trading on relationships or information, manufacturing which requires infrastructural capital at hand, etc.) are studied by urban economics but are also technically lifeways in the same sense as that of the hunter-gatherer and farmer.


Lifeway Wikipedia