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Bridget Bradley

Bridget Bradley
Dr Bridget Bradley
Lecturer in Social Anthropology (Fixed Term)
4.14 Chrystal Macmillan Building 15a George Square Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
0131 651 3203

Guidance and Feedback Hours

  • Tuesdays 11am-1pm

I competed my PhD at The University of Edinburgh in 2019, and my thesis was a multi-sited ethnography of people living with body-focused repetitive behaviours (BFRBs) in the UK and US. This research followed the lives of women, men and children living with compulsive hair pulling (trichotillomania) and skin picking (dermatillomania) and examined how stigma and shame affect everyday life. BFRBs are little-known and often mis-understood mental health disorders that are surprisingly common, and so people living with their effects are caught between isolation and the desire to conceal, while at the same time seeking recognition and visibility - both for their condition and for the wider community. My research aims to increase awareness and understanding of hair pulling and skin picking. 

Since 2015 I have been involved in various knowledge exchange and public engagement opportunities on behalf of the BFRB community:

2019                            Advisor: Dermatillomania Feature, BBC Radio 5 

2018                            Organiser: BFRB Awareness Week, Public Film Screening: More Than Hair University of                                                        Edinburgh

2018                            Interview: Trichotillomania Feature, STV

2017                            Interview: Trichotillomania Feature, Radio Scotland

2017                            Guest Speaker: Public Film Screening Trichster, University of Glasgow

2016                            Organiser: BFRB Awareness Week: Cake Sale Fundraiser for TLC Foundation (Edinburgh                                                    University), Awareness Stalls in Edinburgh (Grassmarket Market, Stockbridge Market) and                                                London (Notting Hill Market)

2015                            Facilitator: Trichotillomania Learning Center, Public Workshop for BFRBs, Kings College                                                    London

I also run monthly support groups to help others with these conditions, in Edinburgh and London. If you would like more information about or require support for BFRBs, the TLC Foundation are a useful resource:, but you are also welcome to contact me directly.

As part of the Social Anthropology teaching team, I am currently convening Fundamentals: Ethnographic Theory (Semester 1); Ethnography: Theory and Practice (Semester 2); and leading the Postgraduate tutorials for Anthropological Theory (Semester 1). In addition, I am the department's Website Administrator and have a keen interest in our Widening Participation events.  

My general research interests include: medical anthropology and applied anthropology, mental health, gender and the body, activistm and planetary health.

My new research explores the relationship between eco-anxiety and climate activism. Building on my doctoral research, it follows the way that activist communities emerge around shared mental health experiences. 


Bradley, B.  (2020) “Skin Sisters” In Goldschmidt, P., Haddow, G., and Mazanderani, F., ed. (Forthcoming) Uncanny Bodies. Edinburgh: Luna Press.

Bradley, B. and Ecks, S. (2018) “Disentangling family life and hair pulling: Trichotillomania and Relatedness”. Medical Anthropology. 37(7): 568-581

Bradley, B., Genus, S., Kennedy, L. and H. Lesshafft (2017) “Who Cares? A discussion on care from Edinburgh’s Centre for Medical Anthropology”. Somatosphere Online Article

If you are interested in being supervised by Bridget Bradley, please see the links below for more information:

PhD in Social Anthropology; MSc (R) Social Anthropology; MSc (R) Sociology and Anthropology of Health and Illness