Authored by: Tatiana V. Ryba , Natalia B. Stambulova

Routledge International Handbook of Sport Psychology

Print publication date:  February  2016
Online publication date:  February  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138022423
eBook ISBN: 9781315777054
Adobe ISBN: 9781317692324


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In this chapter, we trace the historical development of sport psychology in Russia. Our focus is on highlighting discursive possibilities for the emergence of sport psychology and the important shifts, which shaped the way sport psychology has become ‘disciplined’. From this contextualist approach, the meanings of sport psychology are woven into the fabric of cultural and sociopolitical policies at a particular historical conjuncture and carry an inherent tension derived from the historical schema itself (Young, 2004). Although in the following section we outline the evolution of sport psychology as a scientific discipline, it is important to bear in mind that the neat sequence drawn on within the chapter has been lived and practiced by several generations both progressively and regressively, and often in uniquely hybrid ways. We purposefully did not attempt to instill logic in our chronological representation as neat homogenization of the intellectual tradition often fails to address dominant, residual and emergent cultural trends, as well as messy intersections between these categories of thought (Ryba, 2005). We also wanted to give readers a sense of the personal historiography rooted in everyday practices and social interactions by interspersing ‘objective’ historical narratives with the accounts of oral history, memories of events and people, and our own lived historical knowledge. Throughout this chapter, we alternate between linguistic signifiers, such as Russian, Soviet, and post-Soviet, as appropriate in relation to the described sociocultural context of a particular historical era.

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