There seems to be a somewhat contradictory tendency both towards a homogenization of life styles and towards fragmentation accompanied with a growing emphasis on individuality. The contradictory trends actualize a need for a deeper analysis of the role consumption occupies in the self-strategies of modem man, that is, the ways individual and social self is constructed with means of the world of goods. The paper outlines an approach relating consumer behaviour to the different aspects of "self-building". These different aspects are characterized with means of the metaphors for passive and active consumption (eating - reading - speaking) and tentatively developed into a model which makes explicit their interconnections as manifestations of the complementary "logics of consumption" (introjective vs. distinctive). The different aspects of self-building corresponding to the complementary logics of consumption are manifested in actual consumer behaviour as specific combinations here called "constitutive consumption types". It is argued that the concept of constitutive consumption types gains importance as the mediating link between the category of way of life (habitus) and actual consumption styles due to the growing fragmentation and individualisation eroding the basis for conventional views on hierarchically/structurally differentiated life styles.