What happens when a community loses its physical and cultural identity?
An identity is based upon features that tend to identify that as what it is. In the case of a community, which is a group of organisms living together in a specified ecosystem, the way those organisms get along with each other defines the cultural aspect. How they live, how they play, how they interact with each other defines that community identity as what it is. Along with the cultural aspect is how that community uses the physical attributes of the ecosystem around them. Sometimes, over time, the physical and cultural attributes of a community can change. When this happens, the community essentially changes, identity-wise. Recently, I went back to my home town, which is suffering due to the recent economic downswing. Many of the physical features I remember as a child don't exist anymore, they have changed over time. The place I worked as a young man has been torn down, many of the industries have folded and left town. Attendance in the country church I grew up in has dwindled. To say things have changed would be a gross understatement. This community has definitely undergone an identity change.