Sociocultural Potential of Physical Recreation


M.A. El'murzaev, associate professor, Ph.D.
National Mineral Resources University “Mining”, St.Petersburg
G.N. Ponomarev, professor, Dr.Hab.
Herzen state pedagogical university of Russia, St.Petersburg

Key words: physical recreation, sociocultural potential, leisure, human health.

Introduction. The relevance of the study of physical recreation in the sociocultural context is proved by the fact that in modern researches the authors proceed from its historically set concept as a method of recovery of man's physical health, and it makes sense that it is the subject of intensive researches, first of all within the same scientific discipline - physical culture, which is recognized as its main generic term. This approach to the study of physical recreation is widely spread in numerous adduced definitions, the main directions of theoretical and applied researches. This interaction stipulated for the design of new research directions. The interdependence of physical, sociocultural and psychological aspects is covered in the new light. The most significant changes are observed between physical recreation, psychology and cultural anthropology [2].

Fundamentals. The dominance of sociocultural range of problems is clearly seen in psycho-pedagogical sciences of the recent decades. Culture is a factor that structures and builds the process of personality socialization and integration in a sociocultural community. The cognitive component of the self-concept is expressed in the ideas of the individual of his health, the emotional component - manifestations of self-esteem, self-respect, strong-willed self-regulation. Formation of sociocultural indentity - personal (self - man of culture) and sociocultural - (one's like) - is a relatively stable, to some extent conscious process that involves great potentials to form the integral idea of ​​the phenomenon being perceived. The stipulated components of the self-concept reflect the peculiarities of the subject.

The reference of physical recreation to the sociocultural system is proved by the following preconditions:

Firstly, the generic terms of physical recreation - physical culture and general recreation are, in turn, incorporated into a broader universal sociocultural system. Consequently, physical recreation is also included in the sociocultural system via its generic terms. Excluding this factor, any study of physical recreation will always be incomplete, limited and won’t reveal its rich potential in the formation of personality's recreational physical culture as one of the main objectives of its mission in the modern society.

Secondly, physical recreation should be considered in a broader sense, it performs a variety of social functions: educational, recreational, cultural, epistemological, related to axiological and aesthetic world outlooks and others, not limited only by the function of recovery of human physical health.

Thirdly, the logic of perception of any social phenomenon necessitates its analysis in view of the specific spatial and time conditions in which it is operating. Regarding the criterion of the sociocultural situation physical recreation mostly functions in the human leisure sphere. But the implementation of this provision provokes some difficulties. The specific feature of the modern leisure is in the fact that cultural values​​, symbols and forms of organization included in its set significantly exceed the real needs of people and make the inactive reserve. Man and society use the reserve in the far from full measure. Cultural leisure becomes a real factor of personality's sociocultural development via practice, which, in essence, is one of the important elements of his healthy way of life. The purpose of functioning of physical recreation in the sphere of leisure is expressed in the following aspects:

1. To justify the methodology of socio-psychological and cultural analysis of the phenomenon and processes being perceived that occur in the area of human leisure.

2. To develop the methodology and technique of studying the sociocultural potential of physical recreation.

3. To identify the ways and conditions for the implementation of the potential of physical recreation in the modern Russian society.

4. To transform sociocultural values ​​of physical recreation from a "thing-in-itself" to a common thing, from a purely individual to a mass form of human vital activity.

The methodological solution of the problem of the sociocultural potential of physical recreation is possible only on the basis of a systematic, interdisciplinary and structural-functional approach; the unity of philosophical, historical, natural scientific, social and humanitarian principles of research; the unity of biological, psychological, humanitarian and cultural levels of study.

In order to determine the place and role of physical recreation in the sociocultural environment of human life one should clarify the meaning of the sociocultural system. Two unique features of social life - the group nature of human vital activity and coordination of their activities and behavior in accordance with the common norms, values and rules of behavior are closely related and can not exist unrelated to each other. These two aspects of social life are usually signified as the sociocultural system.

One promising way of research of physical recreation is to study its sociocultural potential. Potential (Lat. - strength, power) in sports psychology refers to the internal forces of the personality, its reserve capabilities that can be actualized in certain circumstances. Potential is not something latent, unrealized, that cannot identify itself. On the contrary, it is displayed, but only occasionally and in certain circumstances. The potential of any social phenomenon is multidimensional, variable only in relation to the real, actual. The transition of the potential, possible to the actual, effective is a primary component of personality's sociocultural and psychological development.

The most important condition for the success of the potential actualization is the subject’s individuality, his cognitive system, personal health care. A healthy person is only the one who is harmoniously introduced to the sociocultural environment, actualizes adequately and fully in it. Any distortion of the system of satisfaction of people’s recreational needs affects their psychophysical health, physical working capacity and social activity, inevitably leads to social conflicts and deviant behavior. The recreational function of culture is associated with the restoration of human spiritual powers, renewal and normalizing of spiritual potential, what in the everyday vocabulary is called "purification of the soul". Formation of health culture is the main direction of humanistic psychology. Within this framework, health is considered not only in the context of the dual opposition "health-disease" and does not come to its physical component, but is perceived as a more complex, multidimensional phenomenon, involving new meanings and senses ​​in the sociocultural environment. In the sociocultural aspect man understands health as a component of satisfaction with life and individual well-being.

The potential of physical recreation should not be limited to only motor activity of an individual providing his physical health and development of physical qualities, it includes different social and cultural components and is of great human value. The modern system of labor organization, education cannot solve any more the problems of adequate development of the personality, and implementation of the potential of physical recreation is certainly among the evaluation criteria of person’s culture.

In domestic science the culturological aspects of physical recreation are considered only in selected scientific papers and mainly at the empirical level. The studies are fragmentary, uncertain. In this case, physical recreation is unlikely to be descriptive and explanatory and even to a lesser extent exact science due to the diversity of the subject of culture itself - its important element [1].

Socio-psychological and culturological concepts that most fully reveal its essence, typology, ways and conditions of the implementation of its potential in modern Russian society should be the leading core area of researches of physical recreation, providing theoretical and methodological and applied understanding of its essence [4].

Conclusion. The interpretation of physical recreation within the sociocultural system made of two closely related parties - social and cultural enables: firstly, significant expanding and extending the existing ideas on the cognizable phenomenon, supplementing them with sociocultural knowledge; secondly, identifying the ways of realization of the potential of physical recreation in the sociocultural space of man's living; thirdly, showing the role and the meaning of physical recreation in solving particular problems such as formation of personal health culture as a primary common human value, its socialization and integration into the sociocultural community, development of cultural values. And fourthly, since the interaction of the society and culture is universal it is heuristically appropriate to extrapolate the potential of physical recreation to other spheres of human vital activity.


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  3. Ryzhkin, Yu.E. Physical recreation in man's physical education: study guide / Yu.E. Ryzhkin, M.A. Elmurzaev. - Nazran: Piligrim, 2009. – 153 P. (In Russian)
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