Ever sit down to Thanksgiving dinner, look around at the shining faces of your family, and think to yourself: “How the heck am I related to these people?”
You’re not alone. Family can be a source of love and support, along with frustration and bafflement. So what keeps us tied to family — shared memories and Sunday dinners? Or is it blood and genetics? The Pulse explores how we define family — and how family defines us.
Also heard on this week’s episode:
- To get us ready for the possible tumult and hurt feelings at the holiday dinner table, psychology professor Marissa Holst explains how conflict can both hurt and strengthen families.
- When Jean DelMuto needed a kidney, her nephew Jim Melwert volunteered. Neither realized the family reverberations his generosity would cause.
- Biologist PZ Myers discusses whether genetics explains our drive to connect with distant relatives across the world.
- Tara and Alan Atchison knew before they got married that if they wanted children, they’d probably adopt. Going that route expanded their idea of family more than they had expected.