ERIC Number: ED161858
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978
Reference Count: 0
Socio-Political Use of Physical Activity in the United States, The Soviet Union and China.
Clark, Mark W.
Evidence from this comparative investigation of the Soviet Union, China, and the United States shows that different countries attach their own political meaning and ideology to physical activity in order to stabilize and strengthen themselves, and thus, better promote their respective ideology in the international marketplace of political power. Government-sponsored writings on both political ideology and stated cultural approaches to physical activity were analyzed, and other sources were used to compare stated positions with actual practice. In the U.S., ideology is rarely overtly stated, but it is directed toward individual perseverance and hard work to gain success; similar patterns apply to physical activity. In the U.S.S.R., worker ownership and collective action resulting in an appropriate reward for service rendered is the stated ideology, and the "physical culture" seems consistent with this. In China, ideology is similar to that of the Soviet Union, with an added element of self-criticism, and the physical activity again reflects this. The U.S. ideology depends on continued winning and dominance to form elite groups, while in China the mass-based program seems to indicate a working toward betterment for many people. The U.S.S.R. fits somewhere in between these two. (Author/DS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: China; Sport Sociology; United States; USSR
Note: Paper presented at the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, and Recreation Convention (Kansas City, Missouri, April 1978)