The social-cultural aspects of competition are highlighted as consistent pattern of its evolution. The role of social capital and social values in the competitive environment is emphasized. The accent is made on the refocusing of the key functions of the competition towards socialization. The importance of the development of fair competition, the emerging of the contemporary ethical competencies and culture of market behavior are stressed. Generalized and analyzed theoretical assertions of the past and modern researchers have caused the hypothesis of this study, which consists in assumption about the inevitability and objectivity of the spread of socio-cultural trends in the economic space, influencing the formation of the main directions and concepts of competition, rethinking the nature of competition, its content characteristics and basic functions. The scientific validity of the theses, covered in the article, is based on such approaches: the necessity of transition from the paradigm of "competitive struggle" to the paradigm of development of fair competition is substantiated; it is argued that the functions of competition will be transformed with the processes of socialization of labor, the growth of the role of social capital and the value of human factor in economic processes; it is proved that in the conditions of the expansion of integration processes and the growth of cultural integration, competition is filled with new content and requires an adequate mechanism; the position has been developed to identify the factors, forms, and the main positive and negative aspects of competition. An important component of the researches is the emphasizing of the role of social values as a motivator, aimed at the ethical relationships forming in a competitive environment.
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