In 1960 Edward R. Murrow made Harvest of Shame a television documentary about the plight of migrant farm workers. To Barbara Wolf the economic situation and working conditions of adjunct professors suggested an information economy parallel to migrant farm workers.
Following the logic of Harvest of Shame, Wolf interviews a variety of adjunct faculty to make visible the working lives of these least respected but absolutely vital faculty members who now do more than 40% of the teaching in America's institutions of higher education. Interviews with university administration officials, union leaders, legislators, and other observers document both the problem and possible solutions.
Murrow concluded Harvest of Shame by asking his viewers to cultivate “an enlightened, aroused and perhaps angered public opinion” and to demand a change. Wolf sees her documentary as both informational and, in Murrow’s tradition, as a tool for change.
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