Professor Alphia Possamai-Inesedy

Professor Alphia Possamai-Inesedy

Office of the Vice-Chancellor and President

Associate Professor in Sociology,
Sociology (SSAP)

Chair, Academic Senate,
Director's Unit, Office of Governance Services

Anthropology & Sociology


Alphia Possamai-Inesedy is a Professor of Sociology at the Western Sydney University. She is the current Chair of Academic Senate and the Director of Sydney City Campus. She was the recent editor in chief of the Journal of Sociology (2013- end of 2016) as well as the co-creator of the Risk Societies Thematic Group within the Australian Sociological Association.  She is also the Springer co-editor for the series ‘Religion, Spirituality and Health: A Social Scientific approach’. She has worked as an Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor of Academia and was responsible for the creation of the Master of Research at WSU (the first centralised degree of the University). She is the current Director of the Sydney City Campus of Western Sydney University and the Vice President of the Australian Sociological Association. Her recent work includes The Digital Social: Religion and Belief (2019) and an upcoming volume with Sage on Digital Methods.  Alphia is currently involved in ongoing research that focuses on risk society, religion, health, and digital methdologies.


This information has been contributed by Professor Possamai-Inesedy.


  • PhD University of Western Sydney

Professional Memberships

  • Vice President of The Australian Sociological Association (2017 - 2020)

Organisational Unit (School / Division)

  • Office of the Vice-Chancellor and President
  • Sociology (SSAP)
  • Director's Unit, Office of Governance Services
  • Anthropology & Sociology


Location: LEVEL 4

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  • Possamai-Inesedy, A. and Nixon, A. (2019), 'The Digital Social: Religion and Belief', : Walter de Gruyter 9783110499872.
  • Henslin, J., Possamai, A. and Possamai-Inesedy, A. (2014), 'Sociology', : Pearson 9781442558830.
  • Henslin, J., Possamai, A. and Possamai-Inesedy, A. (2010), 'Sociology: A Down-To-Earth Approach', : Pearson 9781442517813.

Chapters in Books

  • Possamai-Inesedy, A. (2019), 'The study of post-secularization through the digital social', The Digital Social: Religion and Belief, De Gruyter 9783110499872.
  • Possamai-Inesedy, A. (2016), 'Religion', Identity and Belonging, Palgrave Macmillan 9781137334923.
  • Possamai-Inesedy, A. and Turner, B. (2016), 'Same-sex marriage and the christian conservative reaction', Religious Diversity Today: Experiencing Religion in the Contemporary World, ABC-CLIO 9781440833311.
  • Possamai-Inesedy, A. (2014), 'Social justice research methods : the problems of abstracted empiricism and the politics of evidence', The Praeger Handbook of Social Justice and Psychology, Praeger 9781440803789.
  • Possamai, A. and Possamai-Inesedy, A. (2012), 'Battlefield Earth and Scientology : a cultural/religious industry a la Frankfurt School?', Hanbook of New Religions and Cultural Production, Brill 9789004221871.
  • Possamai, A. and Possamai-Inesedy, A. (2011), 'Religion como una isla de seguridad o como un agente contra los peligros de la sociedad de riesgo', Educacion e investigacion ambientales y sustentabilidad, Universidad Pedagogica Nacional 9786074130973.
  • Possamai-Inesedy, A. (2011), 'Faceless and Facework Commitment: An Exploration of Birthing Women's Trust toward Expert Systems within a Risk Society', Pregnancy: Risk Factors, Management and Recovery, Nova Publishers 9781619426078.
  • Possamai, A. and Possamai-Inesedy, A. (2009), 'Scientology Down Under', Scientology, Oxford University Press 9780195331493.
  • Possamai-Inesedy, A. and Gwyther, G. (2009), 'Methodologies a la carte: An examination of emerging qualitative methodologies in social research', New Methods in Social Justice Research for the 21st Century, Routledge 9780415550833.
  • Possamai, A. and Possamai-Inesedy, A. (2007), 'Risk Society, Sustainable Development and Religion', Religion, Culture and Sustainable Development in Encyclopaedia of Life Support Systems, EOLSS Publishers under the Auspices of the UNESCO .
  • Possamai-Inesedy, A. (2005), 'The Medicalised Birth: An Examination into Risk Society and the interrelation of health, technology, perfection and responsibility', The Chameleon and the Quilt: a Cross-Disciplinary Exploration in the Social Sciences, University of Western Sydney 0975814508.

Journal Articles

  • Possamai-Inesedy, A. and Nixon, A. (2017), 'A place to stand : digital sociology and the Archimedean effect', Journal of Sociology, vol 53, no 4 , pp 865 - 884.
  • Possamai-Inesedy, A., Rowe, D. and Stevenson, D. (2017), 'Sociology in the 21st century : challenges old and new', Journal of Sociology, vol 53, no 4 , pp 723 - 729.
  • Cochrane, S., Smith, C., Possamai-Inesedy, A. and Bensoussan, A. (2016), 'Prior to conception : the role of an acupuncture protocol in improving women's reproductive functioning assessed by a pilot pragmatic randomised controlled trial', Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol 2016 .
  • Woodman, D., Threadgold, S. and Possamai-Inesedy, A. (2015), 'Prophet of a new modernity : Ulrich Beck's legacy for sociology', Journal of Sociology, vol 51, no 4 , pp 1117 - 1131.
  • Cyril, S., Smith, B., Possamai-Inesedy, A. and Renzaho, A. (2015), 'Exploring the role of community engagement in improving the health of disadvantaged populations : a systematic review', Global Health Action, vol 8 , pp 1 - 12.
  • Cochrane, S., Smith, C., Possamai-Inesedy, A. and Bensoussan, A. (2014), 'Acupuncture and women's health : an overview of the role of acupuncture and its clinical management in women's reproductive health', International Journal of Women's Health, vol 6 , pp 313 - 325.
  • Possamai, A. and Possamai-Inesedy, A. (2014), 'Cultural framing of risk and religion within science fiction narratives', Journal for the Academic Study of Religion, vol 27, no 1 , pp 94 - 113.
  • Cochrane, S. and Possamai-Inesedy, A. (2013), 'Looking outside the square : the use of qualitative methods within complementary and alternative medicine - the movement towards rigour', Complementary Therapies in Medicine, vol 21, no 1 , pp 73 - 76.
  • Possamai-Inesedy, A. and Cochrane, S. (2013), 'The consequences of integrating complementary and alternative medicine : an analysis of impacts on practice', Health Sociology Review, vol 22, no 1 , pp 65 - 74.
  • Cochrane, S., Smith, C. and Possamai-Inesedy, A. (2012), 'Understanding the practice of acupuncture with women with fertility problems : a qualitative approach', Australian Journal of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, vol 7, no 2 , pp 4 - 12.
  • Nelson, J., Possamai-Inesedy, A. and Dunn, K. (2012), 'Reinforcing substantive religious inequality : a critical analysis of submissions to the Review of Religion and Belief in Australia Inquiry', Australian Journal of Social Issues, vol 47, no 3 , pp 297 - 318.
  • Cochrane, S., Smith, C. and Possamai-Inesedy, A. (2011), 'Development of a fertility acupuncture protocol: Defining an acupuncture treatment protocol to support and treat women experiencing conception delays', Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, vol 17, no 4 , pp 329 - 337.
  • Gwyther, G. and Possamai-Inesedy, A. (2009), 'Methodologies a la carte : an examination of emerging qualitative methodolgies in social research', International Journal of Social Research Methodology, vol 12, no 2 , pp 99 - 115.
  • Possamai-Inesedy, A. (2009), 'The Silence of Spirituality within Sociology of Childbirth: Epistemological and Methodological Considerations', Australian Religion Studies Review, vol 22, no 2 , pp 137 - 160.
  • Possamai, A. and Possamai-Inesedy, A. (2007), 'The Baha'i faith and Caodaism. Migration, change and de-secularization(s) in Australia', Journal of Sociology, vol 43, no 3 , pp 301 - 317.
  • Possamai-Inesedy, A. (2006), 'Confining risk: Choice and responsibility in childbirth in a risk society', Health Sociology Review, vol 15, no 4 , pp 406 - 414.
  • Possamai-Inesedy, A. (2002), 'Beck's Risk Society and Gidden's Search for Ontological security: A Comparative Analysis between the Anthroposophical Society and the Assemblies of God', Australian Religion Studies Review, vol 15, no 1 , pp 27 - 43.

Conference Papers

  • Possamai-Inesedy, A. (2008), 'The impact of Individualization on Pregnancy Practices: the case of Prenatal Diagnosis', TASA Conference Proceedings, Re-imagining Sociology, Melbourne University.
  • Possamai-Inesedy, A. and Gwyther, G. (2008), 'In defence of the 'New Qualitative Methods': the Australian Context', TASA Conference Proceedings, Re-imagining Sociology, University of Melbourne.
  • Possamai-Inesedy, A. (2007), 'Who to Trust: Giving Birth in the Risk Society', TASA & SAANZ 2007 Joint Conference Proceedings Public Sociologies: Lessons and Trans-Tasman Comparisons, Auckland, New Zealand.
  • Possamai-Inesedy, A. (2005), 'Learning to Be Pregnant in a Risk Society: An analysis of self-help pregnancy and childbirth literature', TASA 2005 Conference: Community, Place and Change, University of Tasmania.

Other Publications

  • 2018, 'Tackling Maternal Anxiety in the Perinatal Period: Reconceptualising Mothering Narratives', Report
  • 2017, 'Community Services and the Women of Greater Western Sydney', Report

Previous Projects

Title: Sex and Post - Secularism: A marriage of convenience?
  • University of Western Sydney
Western Researchers: Alphia Possamai-Inesedy
Years: 2012-11-15 - 2015-01-31
ID: P00021218
Title: An Examination into Pregnancy Practices within an Individualized Society: The Interrelation between Prenatal Diagnosis and 'New Eugenics'
  • University of Western Sydney
Western Researchers: Alphia Possamai-Inesedy
Years: 2008-11-03 - 2009-11-02
ID: P00016532
Title: Access to Support Services for Women in GWS
  • Western Sydney Women
Western Researchers: Alphia Possamai-Inesedy
Years: 2017-04-03 - 2017-10-06
ID: P00024394
Title: Identifying the path to Radicalisation within NSW
  • NSW Police Force
Western Researchers: Alphia Possamai-Inesedy
Years: 2011-06-21 - 2013-03-31
ID: P00020376


Professor Possamai-Inesedy is available to be a principal supervisor for doctoral projects

Current Supervision

Thesis Title: Breastfeeding Practices of Generation Y Women of the Greater Western Sydney Area
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: Exploring Trajectories of Active Atheist Identity Formation within Australia
Field of Research: Philosophy And Religious Studies
Thesis Title: A Critical Exploration of the Quantified Self Movement: The Sociology of Self
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: The impact of international political conflicts on young Australian Muslim women
Field of Research:

Previous Supervision

Thesis Title: Prior to Conception: The Role of an Acupuncture Protocol in Enhancing Women's Reproductive Functioning
Field of Research: Acupuncture
Thesis Title: The Meaning of Home: Spirituality and Domestic Space in Australian Home Birth Experiences
Field of Research: Anthropology; Philosophy And Religious Studies; Other Society And Culture
Thesis Title: Challenging Tradition: Exploring Mens Experiences of Being At-Home
Field of Research: Other Society And Culture

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