Dr Celia Plender

Sociology Alumni

PhD Researcher in Sociology (ESRC 1+3)
Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology, University of Exeter

Start date: September 2014

Research topic: ‘Self-help by the people!’ Politics, morality and change in British food co-ops

My research focuses on the changing nature of retail food co-ops in the UK, their political practices, social dynamics and visions of a better food system.


Food is a productive lens through which to view the political and economic processes which have formed the contemporary food system, informed common-sense thinking about it, and impacted the lives and social worlds of the inhabitants of contemporary Britain. It can be used to enact visions of a more caring/moral political and economic system through the practices and structures of alternative initiatives such as co-ops. By analysing these visions my research explores contemporary British perceptions of concepts such as morality, citizenship and welfare.

Research supervisors: Professor Harry West, Dr Charles Masquelier

Professional memberships/Positions held:

Centre for Rural Policy Research, Exeter

SOAS Food Studies Centre, London

Email: cp525@exeter.ac.uk