Running head: ETHICAL THEORIES IN “FOOD CHAINS” & “HARVEST OF SHAME” 0 Ethical Theories in “Food Chains” and “Harvest of Shame” Chanel Mun-Kay Wan California State Polytechnic Pomona University Ethical Theories in “Food Chains” and “Harvest of Shame” It is known that there is a problem connected with the illegal use of labor or the problem of unfair providing of the working conditions for the immigrants. Many corporations, especially when it goes about the big ones, try to save money with the help of various methods and one of them is the use of the cheap labor force. One of the main ways to do this is to employ the immigrants as they mostly have no possibilities to influence or change the situation. In the “Harvest of Shame,” the film director demonstrates how thousands of people live in poverty in spite of the fact that they work hard each day during the year. The viewers can see the conditions in which migrant workers spend their days and how the farm workers are responsible for it (Murrow, 1960). The same idea is developed in the film “Food chains,” which is also an
ETHICAL THEORIES IN “FOOD CHAINS” & “HARVEST OF SHAME” 1 evidence that the situation did not change over time (Rawal, 2014). The situation that exists on the farms violates the moral rules developed by the theories moral universalism, utilitarianism, social contract theory. In the “Harvest of Shame,” Edward R. Murrow tries to demonstrate the millions of Americans how the migrant workers live or even exists in the conditions created for them by the farm workers. The setting of the documentary is 1960 and it begins with a scene where numerous men and women staying in a crowd are looking for any possible job. There are also people, who are yelling the prices for the current time period and then people drive to the fields in the large trucks. This process is called a “shape-up” and it creates an impression of the situation where people have no choice and no possibility to change something. Moreover, it is evident that the workers are forced to accept the conditions proposed to them and in that way, it is possible to compare this situation with the slavery but with a difference that the workers are rented and not owned. The idea of the film director was to provide the viewers with information on how people are forced to exist and in which conditions they work. Murrow demonstrates how powerless some people are and how important it is to know the truth about the country where millions of people have numerous possibilities to succeed (Murrow, 1960). In the “Food Chains,” its film director, Sanjay Rawal, develops the similar to the “Harvest of Shame” theme. He demonstrates the conditions created by the farm owners to their workers and tells about the agricultural labor in the United States. The setting of the film is Florida, 2014 and it is essential to put a special attention to it. In spite of the fact that the society
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- Spring '15
- Ethics, Edward R. Murrow, food chains