* Can you identify yourself with the author of the entry, or your perception of the community would be different? Explain your answer.
I agree with Tamera Gordon's way of viewing a community however I personally cannot identify myself with Tamera Gordon's specific situation. What I can understand is how she must have felt when she returned to her home town after the changes. I have seen how my family or a group I was a member of "changed"; my expectations were of something familiar. What is familiar is comfortable and if we are in an environment or situation we often cannot note the subtle changes. But the shock she must have felt being away and then returning must have be difficult. I remember when I left the USA and I lived in South America for 2 years when I returned here I was so sad. Culture is very different and I realized how much I had personally changed. I remember telling myself that I would not come back to this culture and way of thinking and being but would try to continue embracing the Latin American culture. That did not last very long in many aspects because in order to get by in a society and prosper it is important to embrace the culture in which you are presiding. For instance, I really liked how in the National Geographic video Chris Rainier explained how he began to immerse himself in his work and with the people and their way of life. Changes are difficult, but a new culture and new times brings opportunity for growth and experiencing many new and cool things.
* Does the situation described reflect a specific cultural context? Explain your answer.
The specific cultural context of this entry was a small town and close knit culture. In this culture it was custom to trust and be trusted, there is interdependence while still being self reliant. There was pride in this community and a familiarity of neighbors and friends to the point of being like family. As I read this entry I felt the desire to be part of that community! It sounds so peaceful.
* How would the described situation look like in a different cultural context?
This situation would have a different outcome in another type of cultural context. For example, when Tamera asked what had happened to the town since she had been gone Tamera's sister mentioned how she didn't even notice a difference. To her sister, this situation hadn't changed because she was changing at the same rate as her town was. However, Tamera was changing at a different rate compared to the town and she also had certain expectations that, upon her return, were not met. Another example is if Tamera had always lived in a big city going to the town that had changed would be completely normal or might even look small to her. Or, if Tamera had known about the changes that were occurring before returning to her home town she would not have had the same reaction but instead would have been more prepared.
One thing I learned in the Australian Video in the class assignments is that in the interviews it was asked "culturally, what would be one thing that you would like to change?" and many people mentioned how we should be more accepting, not judge other cultures, do not assume, etc. It is important to keep your culture but accept and learn about other cultures as well.
I think that what creates a "culture shock" are the preconceived notions that we have and then those ideas do not occur like we had thought. The uncertainty of how a place or people are is another factor of how a culture is perceived.