The purpose of this independent senior thesis is to understand the varied experiences of queer Central Americans within the United States, as they reimagine the familial unit, actively construct family with others. This research seeks to investigate the question: when confronted with the need to reconstruct family— how do queer Central Americans reimagine the familial unit and negotiate meaning in relationships within these chosen families? This research moves beyond predominately white, heteronormative, and nuclear understandings of family. It is grounded in intersectional approaches to family studies and literature that recognizes and centers the role and impact of race and ethnicity and gender and sexuality in the conception of family. This research employs symbolic interactionism, a sociological theory, that explains the ways through which individuals interpret and negotiate meaning out of interactions and relationships with others. It is through this sociological theory that I further utilize the theoretical framework for theatrical performance to present data. This research utilizes one qualitative research method to mindfully engage with participants from the Central American diaspora in the United States who identify within the LGBTQIA+ umbrella.


Samei, Siavash


Sociology and Anthropology


Family, Life Course, and Society | Gender and Sexuality | Race and Ethnicity


Family, Home, Central American, LGBTQIA+, Theatrical Performance, Symbolic Interaction, Reconstruction.

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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