Abstract : Comparing France and Norway we will take a new approach to the discussion on lifestyles and social stratification. Instead of anchoring our definition of social stratification in predefined concepts, such as social class or status, we will empirically explore the latent patterns of social stratification and lifestyles. Our strategy allows us to investigate if social stratification is best measured by one, two or more dimensions; and then to map associated patterns of lifestyles onto this/these dimension(s). As indicators of social stratification we use education, household income and occupational status, and to measure lifestyles we use data from two surveys on lifestyles and cultural consumption (Media og kulturforbruksundersøkelsen 2004, Norway and module Pratiques culturelles et sportives, Enquête Permanente sur les Conditions de Vie 2003, France). We limit our analysis to occupationally active respondents, 20-64 years of age. We would expect our findings to differ somewhat between the two countries, but given that social stratification is a pervasive element of all modern societies, we would also expect to find common empirical patterns that may be of relevance to the way we conceptualize lifestyles and social stratification.