On the surface, the term "Developing Country” seems like it might be a good choice, because, it seems accurate when referring to countries that need to develop better health care systems, better schools, and better ways to bring water and electricity to people. However, the “developed,” “developing,” and “underdeveloped” categories come with their own problems. The term assumes that Western-style development is the best for everyone. There is no clear distinction between each phase, and the terms ignore the many problems that exist in “developed” countries, implying that they have no room for improvement. Using this classification paints a picture of Western societies as ideal, ignoring the problems that exist among them.
It seems the most sensible course is to discard blanket terms and metaphors, and compare countries using specified metrics. Contrast low-income against high-income, democracy against authoritarian regimes, and so on. This has the advantage of being both precise and transparent about the value judgments at play when evaluating countries.
1. The World Bank stopped using the term “developing country.” Here’s why you should too.
2. Why You Shouldn't Call Poor Nations 'Third World Countries'
3. Why you should stop using the term “third world countries”
4. If You Shouldn't Call It The Third World, What Should You Call It?
5. Are We Still Saying That? Because We Should Stop.
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