Meta-analysis of Studies on the Relation between Lifestyle and Social Identity
As a source of cognition, identity is an important concept within human societies. Identity is a mental requirement of humans and a prerequisite to any type of collective life. According to Giddens, modern social entities profoundly influence the identities of people, and nobody is of a single, unique identity. This means that identity flexibility has significantly grown within the modern framework which denotes the emergence of novel platforms for identity genesis. Today, the phenomenon of globalization influences various aspects of cultural life such as gender attitude of knowledge, official education, identity, and lifestyle. In the last decade, without lifestyle and social identity, i.e. without specific frameworks that reveal similarities and differences, people in a society would have been incapable of making significant and sustainable connections among one another. Unquestionably, the expansion of modern lifestyles and its confrontation with conventional lifestyles in Iran have resulted in a set of changes occurring within the cultural identity.

Theoretical Framework

As a pioneer to Richard Jenkins, Mead regards the “subjective I” or individual identity as different from the “objective I” or social identity; both of these “I”s are formed through social experiences and activities. The “subjective I” represents the sensitivity of physique to the image of others’ opinions while the “objective I” is an organized set of hypocritical comments by others. According to Giddens, personal identity becomes more increasingly significant in modern societies in which all humans are to answer important questions regarding their identities and inevitably make important decisions. He believes that given the process of modernization and the expansion of social environment through mass media, the possibility of identification within the restricted and determined social framework is on the decline. According to Bourdieu, class constitutes volume and different types of capitals while habitus is the medium through which people within each class are connected to one another; lifestyles are formed based on such common habitus. He believes that various tastes across classes regarding how to use leisure, body, clothing, and speech among many other things indicate features of identity based on gender (feminine or masculine), social class (lower class, upper class) and other individual and social attributions.


Given the purpose and nature of the study, the meta-analysis method was used. The present paper is an applied inquiry and a quantitative study, given the employment of meta-analysis method as well as the nature of data. The population of the study included domestic studies conducted on the relation between lifestyles and social identity, published in domestic scientific and research journals. Among the numerous existing studies, 20 were selected which contained the criteria for examination in the present study. Checklists used to select suitable papers with the present meta-analysis and extraction of proper information included the name of authors, year of implementation, sample population, sampling method, statistics, and level of significance. The results of studies taken into account in this examination were of the necessary conditions, methodologically. Data from each study was codified and then inserted into CMA2 software, followed by the calculation of effect size and meta-analysis hypotheses. 
Results and Discussion
According to the results obtained from the test (Q=905/654, P<0.01), the null hypothesis stating homogeneity between the conducted studies was rejected with a 99% confidence level while the hypothesis on the heterogeneity of studies was confirmed. In addition, the squared index, “I” supports the fact that nearly 97% of dispersions are real, originating from the entire studies and related to heterogeneity between them. Consequently, their integration with the fixed effects model can be justified and random effects model should be used so as to integrate the results. Mean effect size of lifestyle (random mixed effects) on social identity in the case of the present study is 0.420. Since the estimated size is within the confidence range, the impact of lifestyle on social identity is confirmed. According to the results of Egger's linear regression test, cross-section and the 95% confidence distance are 2.189 and 0.912, respectively. Considering the p-value as a single 0.079 domain and a double 0.136 domain, then the null hypothesis expressing the symmetry of funnel chart and absence of bias in dispersion is confirmed.
According to heterogeneity analyses of the study, it was discovered that there are moderating variables that affect the relation between variables including lifestyle and social identity. Heterogeneity among the effect sizes across the initial studies could be caused by the fact that operational definitions and evaluation methods or the representation of dependent and independent variables are vastly different in various studies, while their results could also be different. On the other hand, it is possible that studies involve different designs or even be different in terms of methodology. As a result, the role of gender is examined as the mediator or moderating variable. The results showed that the effect size in random model is higher for men compared to women (0.567 vs. 0.486). This finding represents the effect of gender on the observed effect size. Perhaps, this difference denotes the fact that men have accepted and experienced the modern lifestyle more than women, which means that the new lifestyle is substantially more established for men compared to women; in other words, lifestyle has been generalized for men to the extent that it has surpassed the present distinctions across social identity levels. Regarding women, however, since the distinctions in their social identity influences their choice of lifestyle, it can be observed that the less important their social identity, the more they are inclined towards a new lifestyle. Subsequently, the social identity of women is weakened with the prevalence and expansion of novel lifestyles among them.
Article Type:
Research/Original Article
نشریه علوم اجتماعی, Volume:15 Issue: 2, 2019
237 - 267  
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