Geography Education
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Time to scrap “Eastern Europe”

Time to scrap “Eastern Europe” | Geography Education |
Europe’s divisions are indeed grave. But counting the ex-communist countries as a single category is outdated and damaging 
Seth Dixon's insight:

What places belong in a region together?  What are the boundaries of that region?  How has this region changed over time?  Regional classification is inherently an exercise that relies on our geographic knowledge and requires some spatial thinking.  Each semester I have students divide the United States into the regions that explain how they conceptualize the different parts of the country.  This 2 minute video is a great example that argues that the regional category of Eastern Europe is less meaningful today mainly because of the changing political and economic geography that is blurring the regional borders of Europe.   

Tags:  Europe, regions.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, March 17, 7:17 AM

This video shows how difficult it is to categorize and group regions together. We tend categorize Eastern Europe as a group due to former political affiliations with the Soviet Union, but this is unfair as these nations are varied ethnically, economically, and politically. Plus, most, if not all, of these nations resented Soviet rule and grouping them due to it is somewhat insulting. Other groupings are not as neat on a map. For example, grouping Europe economically shows a couple Eastern European countries in the upper half and a number of Western European countries like Italy, Spain, and Greece in the lower half.

James Hobson's curator insight, October 9, 10:29 PM

(Europe topic 4)

Should the term "Eastern Europe" be done away with? My opinion is yes *and* no. Being such a politically-influenced term (e.g. the Soviet Union) and that many of these countries have changed greatly since the days of the Soviet Union, avoiding the term would help to lesson discrimination of the region. However, my partial "yes" coms from the fact that these countries are still a part of the European continent and comprise its eastern half. So in a strictly geo-relational way I see nothing wrong with the use of this term. Avoiding it completely could just lead to unnecessary confusion.

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, October 23, 9:11 PM

The label Eastern Europe can be damaging in the sense that the negative conotation that accompanies the label is no longer true.  For example, Poland is taught in schools as part of Europe.  Not eastern, not western. Europe.  Geographically if we are talking about east vs. west, it is in the Eastern part of Europe. The countries in that location however, are torn and encompass a great variety of ideals.  SOme wish to remain tied to Russia and depend on Russia.  Some are westernized and want nothing to do with Russia.  And then there are the countries that are stuck between a rock and a hard place of two super powers with totally different schools of thought and practice.


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