Celia Plender



College: College of Social Sciences and International Studies
Discipline: Sociology and Philosophy
Department: SSIS
Research Centre/Unit: CRPR

Celia is a social anthropologist. Her thesis, entitled 'Food Co-ops in Austerity Britain: Negotiating politics, aid and care in changing times', is concerned with experiences of social, political and economic change in Britain. In an era of fluctuating food prices, precarious subjectivities and environmental concerns, everyday issues such as food (a basic human need and right) become significant sites through which to offer a grounded perspective on how everyday citizens configure their social and financial worlds in relation to these changes. By focussing on two grassroots, retail food co-ops in London which were born of different eras, her thesis explores the ways in which each food co-op negotiates different visions and values relating to food-based politics, models of aids, practices of care and community building. Within this context, contradictory visions and practices can become intertwined – some more closely aligned with the co-operative ideal of mutual aid, others with less egalitarian models of charitable giving, or individualised practices and values of politics, aid and care.

Celia is also a trained chef and food writer who has cooked in the UK and Japan. She has contributed regularly to publications including Time Out Magazine London and written extensively on Japanese food and cooking.