Methodological Essence Of Rest Theory


Rest along with work is the fundamental basis of the existence of civilization, society and every single person. In socio-economic, political and psychological aspects it defines the specific features of consumer behavior of people. The paper deals with the theoretical questions of existence, the social structure and values ​​of rest. They are considered as a reflection of the material and spiritual essence of human life. The thought of ​​upgrading the ideas of the role of human rest in modern science is advanced. The concepts of the real perfect and fair rest are based on the axiological approach. The results of rest theory development are presented. The phenomenon of rest in human activity was formalized as follows: rest = natural-natural relaxation + socially conditioned recreation. It defines the term of rest that represents its dialectical unity with labor, the entirety in form and in content along with the complexity of manifestation in the life activity of man and society, the ability to satisfy utilitarian and creative requirements for survival. The issues of formation of the value system and motives of social justice of rest are considered. New scientific concepts of rest theory are introduced: rest, the social structure of rest, rest development history in Earth's civilization, the values of rest, the life support of rest, etc. The concepts of the real perfect and fair rest are based on the axiological approach.

Keywords: Rest (leisureholiday) - subject of the research; specifics of dialectical and materialistic reflection of rest phenomena; invariance of rest; existencesocial structure and values of rest


Among the countless number of social phenomena, work and rest, as dialectical opposites, appear as the most fundamental. Man’s labor is written in mountains of folios, different theoretical systems, covering work from different angles, were created. Concerning the rest, scientists did not succeed. Today rest remains less understood theoretically and not adjusted practically for many people. As the entire phenomenon of human life, rest is not studied well. The survey data suggest that in public conscience rest is considered to be socially humiliated. It indicates its significant underestimation in the men’s survival strategy in this constantly changing world.

However, the study of common problems of rest and of its individual aspects has a high level of public concern. The results of rest research have direct or indirect impact on many areas of scientific and practical activities, primarily on those, in which human needs are realized.

Problem Statement

The problem of rest and its specific aspects were addressed to in writings of classics and neo-classics – K.Marx, F.Engels, T.Veblen, S.G.Strumilin, G.A.Prudensky, L.A.Gordon, E.V.Klopov, A.S.Orlov, A.N.Logunov and other researchers. In the USSR, the tradition of theoretical and empirical sociological research in this area dates back to the 1920s (S.G.Strumilin), and in 1970-1980s revives in the works of A.Prudensky. In the West, this tradition is called "Sociology of Leisure" and is historically associated with the work of R. and X. Lind, J. Lundberg other sociologists. It is mostly developed after World War II in the works of D.Riesman, L.Lowenthal, M.Kaplan, C. de Gracia, G.Vilensky (USA), J. Dyumazede, J. Friedman, P.Shombar de Lova (France) (Encyclopedic Dictionary of Philosophy, 1983; The New Encyclopedia Britannica, 1994).

However, despite a number of interesting synthesis studies, the modern theoretical methodological ideas of rest as the fundamental category of scientific cognition have not been formed which obviously hinders the formation of general theory of life. Its knowledge is based on the laws that underlie any particular theory of the nature, society and man, growing up on the generalization of experimental studies.

Research Questions

From a scientific point of view, rest can be defined in two ways: as the natural and public relations. Rest develops in multiple aspects of its social utility, the formation of human capital, labor. It is constantly affected by the impact of casual (due to work) and random (natural and social) factors - the driving force of development. The multi-dimensionality of rest is evident in its social utility, human capital formation, the maintenance of labor activity.

In the process of understanding the issue of identity of the objectively existing phenomena of rest (A) and our feelings, ideas, judgments, reasoning and concepts about it (A ') , remains open. Based on the principle of ascending from the abstract to the concrete, from the general to the particular and the individual, real rest is identical to itself and relatively identical as the subject of study because of its immensity. The most common case of consideration of the identity A = A ' is its ontological and epistemological (including logical) aspects. The first means the reality of the phenomenon of "rest" - the identity of the subject itself; the second - the relative identity of the thought the subject "rest" if its judgments, concepts are objectively true.

The questions of the research stay are divided into the communicative, motivational, legal and other aspects. In the form of rest there is person’s communication with a wide range of other people from different backgrounds, which promotes its self-affirmation in the social hierarchy (Veblen, 1984).

In the content of leisure, the class interests, preferences of social groups, personal motivation are inextricably intertwined in social being (physical aspects of rest opportunities) and consciousness (spiritual motivations of rest). Rest is one of the fundamental human rights accepted by the international community in the constitutional obligations of many states.

Purpose of the Study

Rest as a phenomenon of human activity can objectively be studied in many sciences. The purpose of this study is to develop and improve the theoretical foundations of knowledge rest in human life and society, review of assumptions, trends and patterns of organization.

The category of rest in the context of the proposed research is given the following logical definition: Rest is an unconsciously-reflex and purposefully-conscious human activity carried out in space and time, aimed at maintaining and improving the life of the individual, group, or society as a whole, for the reconstruction and development of abilities to work to meet the specific utilitarian and creative needs for survival and development of Earth's human civilization on the Earth and in space.

Research Methods

The methodological basis of rest study is a dialectical and materialistic theory of knowledge. Appropriateness of its use is associated with the multifaceted problem of interaction between man, society and nature, the development of which occurs in the process of work and rest.

.In this context, the analysis of the dialectics of work and leisure as related parts of human activity requires consideration by general philosophical categories of "motion" and "rest". The movement of the material world in all its forms is absolute; there is relative peace, which manifests itself as a moment of the same movement. In the social forms of matter motion, leisure as an expression of rest is relative to labor as its dialectical opposite, reaching its identity in negentropic and entropic forms.

In motion objective law of self-organization, world phenomena acts, synthesizing all the rest fundamental laws while transiting phenomena from Chaos to Order and back (from the archaic order to the new chaos). For all that in any Chaos there are the beginnings of Order, and in any Order, there are the remnants of Chaos. These laws include:

  • the interaction of opposites;

  • the transition of quantitative changes into qualitative;

  • the negation of negation.

In the socio-humanitarian form of motion, work and leisure streamline the livelihoods of people, inextricably linking it to the natural forms (mechanical, physical, chemical, biological), providing survival, including entire Earth's civilization ensuring the survival. When forming the scientific concepts of rest in a number of studies provisions were formulated, which may be considered as the basic postulates of rest theory (its axiomatic kernel). According to the authors, they are (Khromeshkin, 2015):

  • The principle of historicism of rest development in the evolution of nature, social structure of Civilization formations, negentropy and entropy processes of Chaos and Order.

  • The axiom of dialectical contradictoriness and continuity of work and rest.

  • The theorem of rest value in activities of the individual, social group and society.

  • The theorem of many aspects of rest in the life of people, their livelihoods and survival in the Universe.


From the standpoint of the materialistic dialectics, the phenomenon of "rest" seems to us a holistic unity of the form and content (Fig. 1 ).

Figure 1: Rest existencia
Rest existencia
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The form of rest as a unity of appearance (Abris) and internal composition is comprehensively structured. It is possible to divide it into two main types – the physiologically needed and socially-specific, in which there are interconnected "quasistructural" components.

The form of rest includes its content and essence. The actual content of rest are the specific human activities, ensuring the unity of relations between work and leisure, and other phenomena of the world. The content of some types of rest activities are considered as the principal, the other as the secondary, which can be neglected. The essence of rest seems to us dual and consists of the restoration and reproduction of the ability to work. The neglect of rest essence is unacceptable, it results in the destruction of the phenomena in general and the end of vital functions.

Rest in cognition process is both as natural and social relations, completely analogous work (Marx & Engels, 1954).

The form of rest as a unity of appearance (Abris) and internal composition is comprehensively structured. It is possible to divide it into two main types – the physiologically needed and socially-specific, in which there are interconnected "quasistructural" components.

The form of rest includes its content and essence. The actual content of rest are the specific human activities, ensuring the unity of relations between work and leisure, and other phenomena of the world. The content of some types of rest activities are considered as the principal, the other as the secondary, which can be neglected. The essence of rest seems to us dual and consists of the restoration and reproduction of the ability to work. The neglect of rest essence is unacceptable, it results in the destruction of the phenomena in general and the end of vital functions.

The social structure of rest consists of public relations, which largely determine the functioning of separate spheres and institutions of human activity (Fig. 2 ). In the first stage of socio-structural abstraction rest acts in the specific and abstract aspects.

Figure 2: Structure of social relations of rest
Structure of social relations of rest
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In some aspects of the particular rest, researchers (Orlov, 1995; Coleman & Kohn, 2007; Sukhodolov, 2012), first of all see:

  • The social-class specificity (differentiation depending on the individual membership in a particular social group).

  • The spatial and territorial features (continents, geographical regions, individual states, recreational areas, protected areas, tourist-recreational zones, etc.).

  • The professional guidance - what should physiologically and psychologically relax: body or soul - the material and the spiritual rest.

  • The specification of the personal rest by sex and age, state of health, wealth, time (short-term) and other features.

In the economic and demographic sphere of abstract rest, you must specify its close relationship with the existing mode of production (the level of development of the means of production and scientific and technical progress). In this context, it makes sense to consider aspects - the "productive forces of rest" and "production relations of rest." Relations in the field of rest, like any industrial relations, are, first of all, property relations, which, in the first place, should be divided into private and public. Besides, the industrial relations of rest also include the relationships of people in the rest, that are personally-group (personal rest, mass rest).

In the socio-political sphere the development of rest activity is complex at the level of the individual, the particular and the general. It seems necessary to distinguish the following aspects and features of rest of a personality, family, clan, tribe, ethnic group (set of tribes), nation (combination of nationalities). Next, a set of nations is ethnos, and finally, ethnic groups are united in society. For all of these levels of social organization we can determine the characteristics of rest. Class differences in the nation suggest the dominant classes (exploiting, in the classic view) and exploited (alienated from ownership of the means of production), as well as to ascertain the presence of these differences in the field of rest.

It should be noted that rest relations are formed under the influence of mass socio-political organizations (organized and unorganized mass movements, trade unions, etc.), as well as political parties, and finally, state authorities. The analysis of policy documents of political parties and associations of Russia (Federal Target Programs of Russia, 2009; FNPR program, 2015) indicates the certain underestimation of the role of rest in all its aspects - leisure, territorial (recreational) and motivational in public life, the insufficiency of the methods and means of implementing the right to rest for each (part 5 of article 37 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation). However, the role of ideological and psychological attitudes preceding rest, seems to us very important. In this regard we should note the existed and existing differences in the ethical, aesthetic, legal, etc. views about rest at different stages of social development (in classes and other social groups).

Many authors, from the ideological and psychological positions, marked and continue to mark the connection between rest and worldview, in particular, the impact on the understanding of the organization of material and spiritual rest under transition to the sustainable development of Earth's civilization (Meadows, Meadows, Renders, & Behrens 1991), which suggests ideological aspects in the examination of rest. In this regard we cannot but note the actualization of socially just rest issues. In a society, which is heterogeneous in class or other socio-group characteristics, are always the criteria of justice and injustice in the consumption of leisure. This raises a very important value aspect​​, which is reflected in the value of rest theorem (p.44).

For rest theory the issue of developing a system of values ​​in the intersubjective relationships is very important because, from axiological point of view, it is the gap of value intersubjective relations is the source and the basis of man's alienation from other people, from himself, from the society and nature. In this regard, the interpretation of the essential content of intersubjective conception of Vyzhletsov (1996) was carried out in the specifics of the structure of rest values.

Value benchmarks of rest closely interlock with a sense of justice (Peccei, 1985). A man can have a sense of justice, which consists of the fact that your rest is quite fair, only when there is the presence of injustice in rest activities.

In the ethical aspect moral and legal grounds of fairness is always the equality in the possibility to be happy and to possess the necessary for it benefits. Therefore, any holistic concept of fair rest must proceed from the fundamental, equally available to all individual’s rest values. Every social practice of implementing fair rest offers a historically specific set of material and spiritual wealth (from a free food distribution and organization of spectacles in the ancient city-states to freedom of residence and movement in modern liberal democracies), to which all citizens have equal access initially.

As mentioned above, the socially fair system of rest values seems to be based on standardization (organization of proper and real rest for everyone). However, its development should strive to achieve the unity of the desired and proper in rest for everyone.


The truth of reflection of "rest" phenomenon in the knowledge is confirmed by the socio-historical practice which shows that with the formational development of Earth's civilization rest content is becoming more multi-factorial and multi-dimensional (in the increasingly growing range of leisure activities) while maintaining its form invariance. However, the imperative-substantial expansion of rest entails an increase of the period of human life and vice versa.

The eternal value of rest is the restoration and most importantly - the reproduction of ability to work (due to the purposefully-conscious forms of rest). This is extremely important for the preservation and the extended reproduction of human activity. At the same time it should be noted that the content of rest has values ​​and anti-values. The criteria for the value of rest are: life expectancy, life efficiency (the ratio of the economically active period of life to the time of life), human reproductive ability (the number of births), human capital (as a set of spiritual and material results of life activity of the individual, social groups and society).

Rest just like labor is assigned and alienated by property relations which have a direct effect on the formation of its values. Today we are witnessing a booming leisure industry, the subjects of which are greatly interested in forming the new values ​​of rest and their commercialization in public opinion.

In the system of social and natural sciences the concepts of rest are represented to us by the necessary attributes of the development of the process of cognition.


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Khromeshkin*, V. (2019). Methodological Essence Of Rest Theory. In I. B. Ardashkin, B. Vladimir Iosifovich, & N. V. Martyushev (Eds.), Research Paradigms Transformation in Social Sciences, vol 50. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 575-583). Future Academy.