Research interests: Science studies, sociology and anthropology of health and disease, the body, philosophy of science, critical psychology
PhD project (provisional title): On the practices of care and consultation of frequent attenders in Chilean primary care.
My research consists of a study of the practices of Chilean public health, focusing on the ways in which they contribute to the emergence a heterogeneous group of patients known as 'regular' or ‘frequent-attenders’. These users are said to recurrently demand consultations, exams, and medical procedures. Drawing on science studies, philosophy of science and process philosophy, I study how ‘frequent-attendance’ is a shifting and problematic entity produced in the ongoing process of day to day healthcare practices. My thesis attempts to engage with the different versions of frequent-attendance, where mental health and illness, the materiality of the body and disease, and the technologies and socio-material arrangements of the healthcare system are intertwined.
Generally speaking, my current academic interests are related to the ways in which scientific practices become part of the production of different forms of social and material existence. This has led me to engage with the work of authors such as Michel Foucault, William James, Vinciane Despret, Isabelle Stengers and Annemarie Mol. Previous research experiences also gave me the valuable opportunity of reading the work of Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan.
Before moving to London for my PhD I worked as a clinical psychologist. I also held positions as part-time lecturer and researcher at Universidad Diego Portales' faculty of Psychology in Chile, where my work focused on psychoanalysis as a contemporary theoretical and clinical practice in both public health institutions and private practice. In addition, I participated in empirical research in relation to the (psycho)social uses, effects and contestations of medico-psychological diagnoses such as ADHD in healthcare and educational settings.
Ayala, B. & Rojas, P. (2012). Encarnar el suburbio – Breve ensayo fotográfico [Embodying the suburb – A brief photographic essay]. Bifurcaciones: Revista de Estudios Culturales Urbanos. Available in http://www.bifurcaciones.cl/2013/01/encarnar-el-suburbio/
Fagalde, M.; Izquierdo, D.; Guajardo, G.; Ayala, B.; Rojas, P. & Rojas, S. (2011). Usuarias policonsultantes del nivel primario de atención del Servicio de Salud Metropolitano Oriente: los sentidos de la enfermedad [Primary care female frequent attenders in the Western Metropolitan Healthcare Service: Meanings of the disease]. Revista Objetos Caídos, 2, 1-25.
Rojas, P. (2011). El imaginario, narcisismo y agresividad en psicoanálisis: del joven Lacan a la violencia urbana [The imaginary, narcissism, and aggressiveness in psychoanalysis: from young Lacan to urban violence]. Affectio Societatis, 8, 14, 164-183.
Rojas, P. (2009). Psicoanálisis y ciencia: elementos para pensar una (posible) relación de diálogo [Psychoanalysis and science: Elements for a (possible) dialogue]. Praxis: Revista de Psicología y Ciencias Humanas, 16, 69-81.
Recent conference papers and lectures:
2013. Las múltiples versiones de la policonsulta: Reflexiones sobre sujetos y objetos recalcitrantes en las ciencias sociales y la salud pública. Presented at ‘Los estudios de ciencia, tecnología y sociedad: aportes para la comprensión psicosocial de la biomedicina y la salud pública’ colloquia. Diego Portales University, Santiago, Chile., September 3th.
2013. Sobre lo “psicológico” y el quehacer de la psicología hoy: A partir de William James. Invited lecture given to BA (Psychology) students at Diego Portales University, Santiago, Chile, April 23th and Santiago University of Chile, August 25th.
2013. Making things interesting: On social research of healthcare as a critique beyond denunciation. Presented at Goldsmiths Graduate School Festival, Goldsmiths University of London, May 10th.
2013. ¿En la subjetividad, el cuerpo y el mundo? Experimentando con las ambigüedades de la policonsulta clínica. Presented at ‘Subjetividad, cuerpo y medicina’ seminar, Santiago University, Chile, April 3th.
2013. The attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in Chile: DSM, biopolitics and how-to-live-a-disciplined-life. Presented at the British Psychology Society’s History & Philosophy of Psychology Section Annual Conference. University of Surrey, March 26th (with Dr. Mónica Peña & Mr. Sebastián Rojas).
2012. Sensing and smelling healthy and diseased bodies. Presented at the Unit of Play’s seminar ‘Becoming a Nose’, Goldsmiths, University of London, October 11th.