The modern tradition of stratification research has seen a lot of problems of both the ontological (global economic and social transformations brought about by shift to the post-industrial society) and epistemological nature. These problems are particularly pressing for the stratification scholars in Russia due to the lack of a long-standing tradition of social structure research as compared to developed countries, an abundance of contrary viewpoints, and highly contrasting lifestyles of Russians caused by significant economic inequality, as well as cultural and regional differences. The authors of this publication believe that viewing lifestyles as a stratification aspect and criterion may be one of the solutions to the crisis. The publication presents a critical review of the existing approaches to lifestyle groups research. The authors put forward a number of suggestions on applying this approach in the Russian social structure studies.