Profile image of Rose Butler

Dr Rose Butler



Senior Research Fellow


Faculty of Arts and Education


Alfred Deakin Institute


Melbourne Burwood Campus

+61 3 924 68304


I am a Senior Research Fellow in Sociology. I study class, mobility, migration, education and inequality in Australia, with a focus on youth and family. I am particularly interested in how new and emerging forms of social mobility are enabled and stymied through intersections of social class, migration and place in contemporary Australia. Much of my research has centred rural lives and experiences.  

I joined ADI Deakin in 2017 after completing a postdoctoral position in research and teaching at UNSW Sydney. I completed my PhD at the Australian National University in 2014.

Read more on Rose's profile

Career highlights

Academic Visitor - Research, Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, Aberystwyth University. Supported by the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research and Data (WISERD).  

Visiting Scholar, Department of Sociology, University of Virginia.

Teaching interests

I welcome inquiries from prospective postgraduate students in relation to my research interests.

Knowledge areas

Youth and family

Class, including class inequality, social mobility and cross-class relationships

Migration and mobilities, particularly in regional and rural Australia

Schooling and education

Critical rural studies

Professional activities

ADI Executive Committee, Alfred Deakin Institute, Deakin.

Convenor, Mobilities, Diversity & Multiculturalism Stream, Alfred Deakin Institute, Deakin.

Member, The Australian Sociological Association; British Sociological Association; American Sociological Association.

Media appearances

Select authored commentary

Butler, R. and Vincent, E. How does class impact on Australians’ love lives? New research brings a complex issue into the openThe Conversation, 2021.

Butler, R. and Ho, C. Why do parents take such different approaches to their kids' education? The Conversation, 2016.

Muir, K., Powell, A. and Butler, R. A whacking stick is not enough to get young people into workThe Conversation, 2015.


My current research program is based around three areas:

1. Through an ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DE190100247), I am investigating the role of class, migration and place in shaping the trajectories of young people coming-of-age in the rural city of Mildura, where I have conducted research since 2010. My current book project from this study examines diverging experiences of social mobility and immobility for youth in rural settler Australia. More information about this work is available here, including a Special Issue on Race and Place-Making in the Rural Global North in the Journal of Rural Studies (co-edited with Victoria Stead and Christopher Mayes). My most recent publication from this study examines Migration, class and intra-distinctions of whiteness in the making of inland rural Victoria. In late 2024 I will be a Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics.

Building on this work, I am also collaborating with Makiko Nishitani (La Trobe) and Maryanne Pale (Swinburne) on research which supports Pacific young people's working futures in Robinvale and Mildura, funded by the Scanlon Foundation.

2. I am examining the role of class difference within sustained intimate relationships between people from different class-origin backgrounds. In collaboration with Eve Vincent (Macquarie), we attend to the role that deeply encultured class-based orientations play in these cross-class relationships, and their entanglement with race, migration, gender and sexuality. Our forthcoming book, Love Across Class, with Melbourne University Publishing (May 2024), draws on in-depth interviews with 38 participants and discusses the friction, pain, solidarity, desire and humour that comes with partnering across class difference. 

3. I am investigating emerging inequalities and opportunities for young skilled migrants and their families in Australia taking place at the intersection of class, migration regimes and family wealth, and in collaboration with Anita Harris (Deakin), Sherene Idriss (Western Sydney) and Sylvia Ang (Monash). I am also developing a new edited collection on Class and Migration in Australia. This collective work builds on prior research with Christina Ho (UTS) and Eve Vincent on migration, schooling markets and racialisation within Australia's middle class; with Sherene Idriss and Anita Harris on interrogating whiteness in Australian youth studies; and with Megan Watkins (WSU) and Christina Ho on Asian Migration and Education Cultures in the Anglosphere.

I also work with organisations and governments on research which supports young people and families. This has included the Sunraysia Mallee Ethnic Communities Council, Scanlon Foundation, Burdekin Association, Mission Australia, Juluwarlu Aboriginal Corporation, Foundation for Young Australians, Raise Foundation, First Nations Foundation, University of Sydney's Global Student Recruitment and Mobility Hub, Swan Hill Rural City Council, Country Arts WA, Department of Education and Training, and Department of Social Services, among others. 


Filter by


Love Across Class

Rose Butler, Eve Vincent

(2024), Melbourne, VIC., A1


Race and place-making in the rural Global North

V Stead, R Butler, C Mayes

(2023), Vol. 97, pp. 1-8, Journal of Rural Studies, C1

journal article

The Transforming Middle: Schooling Markets, Morality and Racialisation Within Australia's Middle Class

Rose Butler, Christina Ho, Eve Vincent

(2022), pp. 195-211, Class in Australia, Melbourne, Vic., B1

book chapter

"Good to Say Out Loud": Researching Love across Class in Contemporary Australia

R Butler, E Vincent

(2022), pp. 1-16, Journal of Australian Studies, London, Eng., C1

journal article

Migration, class and intra-distinctions of whiteness in the making of inland rural Victoria

Rose Butler

(2022), Vol. 94, pp. 344-352, Journal of Rural Studies, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal article

Youth, mobilities and multicultures in the rural Anglosphere: positioning a research agenda

R Butler

(2021), Vol. 44, pp. 63-82, Ethnic and Racial Studies, C1

journal article

Centring settler colonialism in rural Australian multicultures: race, place and local identities

R Butler, J Ben

(2021), Vol. 47, pp. 2179-2197, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, C1

journal article

Interrogating race, unsettling whiteness: concepts of transitions, enterprise and mobilities in Australian youth studies

S Idriss, R Butler, A Harris

(2021), Journal of Youth Studies, C1

journal article

Moral childhoods: the role of morality in friendship-making among children from refugee backgrounds in rural, multicultural settler Australia

R Butler

(2021), Children's Geographies, C1

journal article

Young people's rural multicultures: researching social relationships among youth in rural contexts

R Butler

(2020), Vol. 23, pp. 1178-1194, Journal of youth studies, London, Eng., C1

journal article

Asian Migration and Education Cultures in the Anglosphere

Megan Watkins, Christina Ho, Rose Butler

(2020), London, Eng., A7

edited book

'Tutored within an inch of their life': morality and 'old' and 'new' middle class identities in Australian schools

Rose Butler, Ho Christina, Eve Vincent

(2019), pp. 126-140, Journal Of Ethnic And Migration Studies, Abingdon, Eng., B1

book chapter

Local and Refugee Youth in Rural Australia: Negotiating Intercultural Relationships and Belonging in Rural Places

Rose Butler

(2019), pp. 147-159, Youth, Place and Theories of Belonging, Abingdon, Eng., B1

book chapter

Class, culture and belonging in rural childhoods

R Butler

(2018), Singapore, A1


'Tutored within an inch of their life': morality and 'old' and 'new' middle class identities in Australian schools

R Butler, C Ho, E Vincent

(2017), Vol. 43, pp. 2408-2422, Journal of ethnic and migration studies, Abingdon, Eng., C1

journal article

Young people's education biographies: family relationships, social capital and belonging

R Butler, K Muir

(2017), Vol. 20, pp. 316-331, Journal of Youth Studies, Abingdon, Eng., C1

journal article

Children making sense of economic insecurity: facework, fairness and belonging

R Butler

(2017), Vol. 53, pp. 94-109, Journal of Sociology, London, Eng., C1

journal article

'They try to avoid.' How do parents' feelings about ethnicised and classed differences shape gentrifying school communities?

E Vincent, R Butler, C Ho

(2017), Vol. 25, pp. 29-36, Emotion, Space and Society, C1

journal article

Indigenous small businesses in the Australian Indigenous economy

J Collins, M Morrison, B Krivokapic-Skoko, R Butler, P Basu

(2016), pp. 265-274, Engaging indigenous economy : debating diverse approaches, Canberra, A. C. T., B1

book chapter

Local kids, 'refugees' and publics of privilege: Children's mediated and intercultural lives in a regional Australian city

Rose Butler

(2016), Vol. 37, pp. 339-354, Journal of intercultural studies, London, Eng., C1

journal article

Schools, 'ferals', stigma and boundary work: parents managing education and uncertainty in regional Australia

R Butler

(2015), Vol. 10, pp. 340-355, Ethnography and education, London, Eng., C1-1

journal article

Everyday and cosmo-multiculturalisms: doing diversity in gentrifying school communities

C Ho, E Vincent, R Butler

(2015), Vol. 36, pp. 658-675, Journal of intercultural studies, Abingdon, Eng., C1-1

journal article

Images of the child and environmental risk: Australian news photography of children and natural disasters, 2010-2011

Rose Butler

(2013), Vol. 28, pp. 148-160, Visual studies, Abingdon, Eng., C1

journal article

Funded Projects at Deakin

Australian Competitive Grants

Strengthening Intercultural Relationships among Australia's Rural Youth

Dr Rose Butler

ARC DECRA - Discovery Early Career Researcher Award

  • 2021: $143,873
  • 2020: $142,572
  • 2019: $145,388


Associate Supervisor

Rouven Link

Thesis entitled: Narratives of cultural diversity among older white people in rural Australia

Doctor of Philosophy, School of Humanities and Social Sciences