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Time to scrap “Eastern Europe”

Time to scrap “Eastern Europe” | Geography Education | Scoop.it
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 But counting the ex-communist countries as a single category is outdated and damaging 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.

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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.

 

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 12, 4:00 PM

Even though the Iron Curtain has long fallen, the practice of still describing the ex-Soviet countries as "Eastern Europe" still remains, and those same countries wish to change it. No longer are these countries part of the Soviet Block, and they feel that this characterization still defines them in this way. "Eastern Europe" denotes struggling economies, unhappy populations, marginalized lands, and an overall lack of development. While some countries are still recovering from Soviet rule, others have become important world powers with powerful economies. They no longer wish to be associated with Russia.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 14, 7:58 PM

The old way of lumping all Countries east of Germany as simply "Eastern European" is not only wrong but can lead to negativity and conflict. These are nations which differ greatly in terms of language, ethnicity, and political affiliation should definitely not be lumped together within one identity. The fact is the Cold War has ended and instead of holding on to these out dated terms we should instead look forward and embrace these countries for what they are, unique countries with unique things to offer.

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