Well, I suppose this is what I get for missing the last day of class: the longest chapter in the book. Haha, just kidding! :)
Alrightie, chapter seven starts off with an example of what is supposed to represent ordinary immigrant/native interaction. The immigrant is polite, charismatic, and friendly, while the natives are rude, technology obsessed, and don't speak or make eye contact. The immigrant makes the decision not to save his business via the native's obviously successful business plan because he's unable to relate to the native socially.
There is some very interesting discussion of a part of the brain called the insula, which is responsible for translating sensory experience into emotion. The authors also discuss how this phenomenon partners with other parts of the brain to help us to experience the world in the varying, personal, specific ways that we all do. Sociopathic people (those who lack the capacity for guilt, empathy, or love, and often commit crimes with no thought of the repercussions), are generally found to be lacking in function of these specific parts of the brain.
The rest of this chapter is devoted to instruction on how to behave in social situations, how to "survive" without this burgeoning generation's reliance on technology, and how to build self-esteem in the meantime. It emphasizes reduction of technology time, and an increase of time social time spent face to face with real human beings (not surprising, considering the title of the chapter, I suppose). I find it interesting, though, that we've been saying that the majority of the book seems to be aimed at immigrants, and yet the sort of self-help chapter is obviously aimed at natives. I guess that'd be because our parents' generation can't possibly be technology dependent. This is a stereotype that is present in quite a few places, including advertising! Check out this Toyota commercial:
Honestly, I love this commercial. I think it's hilarious. But at the same time, it paints the natives in a very negative light. The daughter is spacey, unable to complete reading an entire article, and chooses to spend an absolutely gorgeous day indoors. The parents are active, social, physically fit, and happy. This is part of a series of commercials that run in this vein. The young adults are at home by themselves while their parents go out partying and having fun.
I think, perhaps, that I was not the right person to review this chapter, mainly because I find the tone of the book to be largely antagonistic and biased. The insinuation that college students need to be provided with classes to learn how to do laundry seems extreme. If I didn't teach my child to be at least partially self-sufficient by the time she went to college, I would not count myself with the successful parents. However, there are a couple of charts and exercises on building empathy, self-esteem, and assertiveness that could be helpful either in a classroom setting or in a parenting situation. There is always something useful to be found!