Profile image of Rose Butler

Dr Rose Butler



DECRA Senior Research Fellow


Faculty of Arts and Education


Alfred Deakin Institute


Melbourne Burwood Campus

+61 3 924 68304


I am an ARC DECRA Senior Research Fellow in Sociology. I study class, inequality, relationships and mobilities in Australia, with a focus on young people and families. 

I joined ADI from UNSW Sydney and completed my doctorate at the Australian National University (ANU) in 2014.

Read more on Rose's profile

Teaching interests

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

Knowledge areas

Youth and childhood

Family and relationships

Class and inequality

Migration and mobilities

Schooling and education

Critical rural studies

Professional activities

Member: ADI Executive Committee (2020-2022)

Member: The Australian Sociological Association (Youth; Migration, Ethnicity & Multiculturalism; Families & Relationships; Rural Issues)

Member: American Sociological Association (Inequality, Poverty & Mobility; Children & Youth; International Migration)

Member: International Sociological Association (Childhood; Youth; Migration)

Member: Consortium for Youth, Generations & Culture

Media appearances


I am currently leading two research projects:

  • Young People’s Mobilities, Relationships and Place-Making in Rural Australia (ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award). This project investigates how young people from diverse ‘local’, migrant and humanitarian refugee backgrounds are negotiating belonging in a rural settler town of Victoria undergoing rapid transformation. The research centres historical and contemporary rural configurations of class, race, economy and identity. More information about this research is available here. This project builds on my doctoral research (published as the book Class, Culture and Belonging in Rural Childhoods) which was based on sustained ethnographic research with children and parents in two school communities of the same locale. This work examined the moral and classed cultural resources on which children draw to make sense of economic insecurity and inequality in everyday life.
  • Love across Class: Social Difference and Intimacy in Contemporary Australia (with Eve Vincent, Macquarie University). This research explores the role of class within intimate partnerships between people from different class backgrounds. It approaches romantic partnerships, forged across class differences, as an important yet little explored site for understanding how class and inequality work in contemporary Australia. Focusing on class at the intersection of economy and culture, the project attends to the role that deeply encultured class-based orientations play in the everyday experiences of such couples at the same time as it explores their entanglement with gender, race and sexuality. These shared inter-class intimacies offer fresh insights into frictions, desires, affinities, solidarities and amusement in relation to class. 

I have ongoing interests in inequality, class and migration in relation to Australian education. My previous research has examined impacts of gentrification, class and racialisation on equality between and within primary schools; whiteness and classed rural identities within schooling communities; young people's education biographies and trajectories in rural Australia; and transformations within the middle class via the lens of inner-city schooling. Along with Megan Watkins and Christina Ho, I co-edited the collection 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, The Burdekin Association, Mission Australia, Juluwarlu Aboriginal Corporation, The Foundation for Young Australians, the Department of Education and Training, and the Department of Social Services, among others.


Filter by


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


No completed student supervisions to report