Document Type

Capstone Project (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Humanities & Communication


Humanities and Communication

First Advisor

Lee Ritscher


Western culture holds many preconceived notions of what a so-called “perfect” family looks like. Usually presented as a married couple, consisting of one man and one woman, and their subsequent children, the nuclear family has had a significant influence over traditional family values in the United States in the past several decades. While our society encourages the preservation of these ideals, it has become increasingly apparent that these traditional concepts of family are unrealistic for many people.

In the following collection of short stories, I discover and explore various identities, cultures, and dynamics that are involved in the existence of family. From the companionship of the LGBTQ+ community to the transformative stories of adoption, I attempt to conquer the task of altering and redefining our common perceptions of family. Familial connections are all around us, regardless of blood. Through my short stories, I venture to find these connections and delve into the complexities of what it means to be a family.