Academic journal article Global Media Journal

European Influence on Sport and Sport Press Formation and Development in Russia

Academic journal article Global Media Journal

European Influence on Sport and Sport Press Formation and Development in Russia

Article excerpt


The significance of the problem under study

The evolution of sport press in one or another country in the definite period is determined, first of all, by two constituents - the sophistication of sport movement in whole and the state of journalism system. At the intersection of these two factors, the same as in the case with the other specialized press sphere, the specificity of the reflected subject, sport in this case, is of major significance. That is why the problem of peculiarities, directions and cause-and-effect relations in sport development becomes key and basic for the investigator of sport journalism for any further studies. In its turn, the system of sport organization in each country is being formed in dependence on the complex of reasons, involving the historical traditions, the type of state structure, the dominating ideology, the social-economic conditions, the level of science, engineering and social culture development.

For instance, as applied to the XX century, Tomlinson and Young distinguish several historically developed clusters of European sport: "Leaving aside the continuity of folk games (such as skittles, bowls, quoits), and regionally distinct activities such as hurling (Ireland) and bullfighting, we would contend that Europe had at least four clusters of sport with varying physical forms and cultural meanings across the twentieth century: the British, the German, the Scandinavian, and the Soviet" [1].

The unique peculiarities of sport system in France and its special role as a mediator in sport distribution from the "British cradle" further on to the European countries, are proved by Dietschy: "France occupies a special place in the history of European sport, halfway between that of the British on the one hand and other continental sporting cultures on the other" [2].

There is a number of investigations, describing the way how the institutes of sport and physical development had been developing in other regions of Europe and world: Latin and North America, former African colonies of European countries etc. [3-8]. The majority of authors agree, that sport, due to its immanent features, depending on the purpose, it is practiced for, can serve both to internationalization, harmonization of international and interstate relations, and present the efficient way to assert national identity and independence.

Problem statement

By the XIX century, sport has become an ordinary phenomenon for the well-grounded part of European population, where the drive for social health and physical perfection grows, as well as the increase of longevity and overcome of senility. However, the first attempts to distribute sport in Russia met serious opposition due to the number of factors, the sources of which lie in the history, geography, diversity of mentality, demography, religion, in social processes and cultural sphere. Publications in newspapers and magazines up to the beginning of the XX century show, that sport took roots in Russia quite difficultly. For instance, one of the most prominent sport figures of that time, Ivan Lebedev, recollected: "At that time, "sport" and "idiotism" meant almost equal. In the opinion of the society, only the man, unable to mental work, could take interest in weights, wrestling, gymnastics etc. [9].

This is not to say that sport remained absolutely alien phenomenon for Russians, but it was practiced by rather small groups of enthusiasts, frequently not understood and condemned even in their families. A complex process of sport ideas rooting in mass consciousness of the Russian society was explained by the peculiarities of the dominant mentality, originality in development and worldview of different classes: aristocracy, intelligentsia of different classes, clergy, merchants, peasantry and proletariat.

The sport, with the real body cult, obtained in Europe, faced great opposition in Russia, especially on the part of Russian intelligentsia, characterized by hypertrophied attention to spiritual and intellectual development, frequently at the expense of the corporal one. …

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