Cultural transformations of modern sport in aspect of sociological analysis



L.I. Lubysheva, professor, Dr.Hab. Moscow state university of physical culture, sport, youth and tourism (SCOLIPC), Moscow

Key words: sports culture, sport, phenomenon, personality, concept.

The growing awareness of physical culture as a part of personal and social general culture is an essential factor in the modern world, but along with the common and clear for the majority phenomenon of physical culture it arises and develops acquiring the independent status, the phenomenon of sport. It is a rather heterogenous and polyfunctional phenomenon that can be hardly described using a single concept. It is enough to say that we refer to sport yachting, chess, aeromodelling etc., where competition and victory achievement become the core of activity.

Until recently sport was treated as an integral part of physical culture in the theory of physical culture and physical education. Nevertheless sports social functions, values and social status have their own interpretation not reduced to the meaning of physical culture. Therefore the issues of sports theory development, sports education and formation of sports culture are being put more frequently.

The purpose of the study was to interpret the social role of modern sport and formation of its culturological basics.

Based on the experience of socio-historical development, physical culture and sport were evolving almost simultaneously, supplementing and enriching each other. However, initially, each of them had distinctive features and gradually occupied its own place in the social life.

As a rule, physical culture is presented as a limited part of social and personal culture; man’s rational use of motor activity as a factor in optimizing their status and development, physical training for life practice.

 At the same time we understand sport as a phenomenon, which reveals the real human potential, helps to develop it to the greatest degree. It is emotional and unpredictable, associated with a reasonable risk in learning the unknown. Sport is always a struggle where one can learn oneself and show his achievements when competing with the equal and the best.

Sport is self-assertion and self-actualization.

The separation of these phenomena was especially vivid in the era of development of elite sport, created when high sports technologies were created, which athletes use to achieve phenomenal sports results. It was during this period when the common combination of "physical culture and sport" starts being discordant. The need to study each of them using own research methods, separate understanding, describing and apprehension is clarified. First attempts are taken to design sports theory, to create author’s training courses on the basics of sports training, publications of scientific papers and monographs, which underlie the modern sports science. According to V.S. Rodichenko, this science is capable of synthesizing gain in the knowledge in legal, economic and many other related sciences, who can give rise to the innovation process in sport. In turn, a number of sciences on physical culture (suggested by R.A. Abzalov, V.K. Balsevich, V.A. Sutula) could be united under the name of science on physical culture - science, within which single scientific disciplines are being developed (theory of physical education, physical rehabilitation, physical recreation, valeology etc.), focused, specifying and developing the theory and technology of human body improvement.

Speaking of the relationship between physical culture and sport, one is better not reduce his discussions to the question, which of these phenomena is wider, if sport is a part of physical culture, or on the contrary. There is enough evidence to confirm one or another version. In this case it is important to understand that the activity aimed at transformation of human physical potential underlies sport and physical culture. Nevertheless, this activity has a different target orientation. And notoriously, goal setting determines the result of activity. The goals of sports and physical activities are not matching, so the social processes defining the result of this activity are different in its content.

The goal of physical culture - overall and comprehensive development of human physical and spiritual abilities in terms of formation of personal physical culture, human self-actualization in the development of spiritual and physical abilities via physical activity, development of other values of ​​physical culture. In this case the key method of physical culture is physical activity, in which physical exercises constitute its main element.

Training process itself is organized in accordance with the target premises, specifically expressed in the defined value of growth of sports result. This indicator measures the content, forms, organization of sports activity.

However, not everything is determined only by the socio-pedagogical influence. Development of sports skills and efficiency are provided and limited at the same time by physical abilities of athlete's body. So it is getting clear that sports activity is a complex sociobiological phenomenon not reduced to physical activity. Lately sociologists, culturologists and teacher are applying to the concept "sports culture" more frequently.

This concept seems to be very difficult, so as all phrases related to the concept of culture. In this case, analyzing the notion of sports culture, we must take into account, on the one hand, the value content of sport, on the other - match the basic notion of "culture".

In the modern society sports phenomenon is considered as a social one. Researchers of humanities are getting more interested in it, which causes some "fuzziness" of its definition. However, the common base of the essence of sport is still competitive activity in the artificially created environment, at strict observation of the rules of competition and control of independent judges (N.N. Vizitey, L.P. Matveev, V.I. Stolyarov, A.B. Sunik).

Sport personifies human phenomenal abilities, competition as a form of self-assertion, overcoming, formation of volitional qualities forcing oneself, improving body and spirit.

The social essence of sport is found in the nature of a man who strives for survival, competition, self-affirmation. The overall value of sport is shown in the universal common values. In the context of globalization the universal model of competition was timely and relevant in the international community. By its nature sport is international, democratic, does not imply distinct ideologizing and compliance of confessional standards. With this in mind, it is a product of civilization and at the same time an incentive of sociocultural transformations.

 The next step in explaining the concept "sports culture" is associated with the concept of culture. Given the diversity of formulations, we turn to the interpretation of the most famous of them:

  • culture - formation of symbolic meanings, creating the axiological space of specific society;
  •  culture - is a set of specific social activities, covering all forms of human vital activity;
  • culture - a set of norms, values, ideals, which act as a regulator of social relations;
  • culture - top level of manifestation of human civilization, creation of the best creations of mankind;
  • culture - top level of manifestation of development of the human civilization;
  • culture – level of development of man, who has mastered the dominant system of ideals, norms and patterns of behavior in a given society;
  • culture - a specific for man system of adaptation to the environment, which manifests itself in the system of technologies, created by man to meet their diverse needs;
  • culture - a combination of artificial objects, which show the creative human activity.

Based on an analysis of these formulations, we can consider the concept of "sports culture".

Sports culture - acquired in the society and passed on from generation to another values, social processes and relations established in the course of competitions and sports training for them. The purpose of participation in competitions is to achieve superiority or record via human physical and spiritual development.

When introducing sport into general culture, we rely on its value content. Certainly, sports culture is based primarily on the values ​​of sports activity. In addition, the social processes that ensure the successful functioning of sport in society, as well as socio-psychological climate that determines the value attitude of people to sport, can be attributed to the values ​​of sports culture.

The specificity of any kind of education is in the fact, what means and methods are used when teaching people. The science of physical education emerged and developed as a system of knowledge about physical exercises, that have passed all the way from health promotion and formation of applied motor skills by developing motor abilities and human functions in the formation of his personality and behavior.

Today we are speaking about the development of the new kind of education using sport, competitions, training loads, sports training, within which the athlete's personality is being formed, capable of achieving high sports result and being a personality in the highest sense of the word.

Hence, sports education is associated with the process of learning sports values, active introduction into sports classes, involvement of the engaged ones in the values ​​of sports culture.

The methods of sports education are the methods of trainer and athlete’s work, used to acquire knowledge, skills and abilities, develop the necessary qualities and abilities and form the worldview. The nature of sport itself has a powerful effect on the personality. The educative role of sport is vey important. It is enough to recall the already "regular" expression that sport for youth is a "school of character, courage and will".

 Sport strengthens character, teaches to overcome difficulties, fights fire with fire. Sport forms one's character, teaches to overcome personal weaknesses, cope with oneself. Thanks to sport a person learns how to control his emotions and understand the beauty. A person in sport starts learning the basics of the legal culture, learns the rules of "fair play" for the first time. Sport is a powerful factor in socialization, manifestations of social activity. Via sport a person accumulates experience of interpersonal relationships, builds relationships and interaction between himself and a trainer, other athletes and sports referees. A true leader and organizer can originate in sport, since sport largely simulates life situations.

Sports education provides the process of learning, settles educational goals. Sport is a special type of creative search activity. It is known that to achieve big sports results, an athlete must know a lot, starting with understanding of the essence of man as a socio-biological individual to the rules of constructing the training process. The idea of ​​an athlete as a person who needs only strength, agility and endurance is long time in the past. Only a highly educated personality, possessing sports culture, can win medals and real victories.

According to the structural-functional system of T. Parsons, culture serves as the "model retention", i.e. ensures the preservation and development of the basic social values​​. Related to the social system, culture acts as a mechanism of ensuring continuity of generations, consisting in maintaining and forming of new patterns and norms of behavior, ideals and values, turning them into a new social consciousness.

The social institute of sport has established its own institutional forms of transmission of sports values: educational systems of sports education and training, system of sports training and competitions. Sharing of sports values ​​takes place via mediums: athletes, trainers, managers, teachers of sport.

The new stage in development of sports movement is closely related to commercialization and high professionalization. The function of sport as a show was especially developed in the modern society. Sports competitions, including Olympic games, are getting more conformable to show business rules. The aesthetics of sport and its competitiveness predetermine formation of fan's subculture. We see how special "performances" - noise support, chants, slogans, coloring of fans, use of sports attributes – are being played on a rostrum. Staginess has become one of the main components of competitions. On the other hand, sports contests go beyond only the spectacular event. When the anthem of the winning country sounds, the flag is raised in honor of the champion, every citizen of this country gets the burst of patriotism and the sense of ownership and pride for its athlete.

Sports champions as creators make fashion for beautiful body, fair play, display of courage and will for victory. They become idols of the modern youth. Athletes-winners are honored as national heroes. They are among the authorities, become heroes of mass media. So it can be officially declared that the modern powerful sports trend forms the values of sports culture as a special variety of personal and social physical culture, as a variety of value orientations, sports behavior and the model for formation of sports lifestyle of different social groups.



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  2. Lubysheva, L.I. Sociology of physical culture and sport: study guide. – Moscow: Academia, 2010. – 240 P. (In Russian)

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