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 But counting the ex-communist countries as a single category is outdated and damaging 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.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 3, 11:46 AM

This video makes a good point about where we arbitrarily draw lines on a map.  He uses different groupings to show how silly this can be.  His point is that Eastern Europe no longer really exists and we should no longer use the term.  He then suggests a few different terms to use to group countries in Europe.  My favorite was the grouping called Scared of Russia.

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.

Geography Education
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