• Research interests

    Catherine’s research interests centre on: social change, social mobility and social differentiation in late twentieth and twenty-first century Vietnam and Australia.

    Her doctoral project titled Longing and belonging: an ethnographic study of migration, cultural capital and social change among Ho Chi Minh City’s re-emerging middle classes (2008) was based on fifteen months of ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Vietnam in 2000-2001, 2004 and 2005.  Recent research based on fieldwork in Ho Chi Minh City since 2008 focuses on university students, education mobility and social change in post-conflict society.

    Recent commissioned oral histories include a history of a Gippsland-based regional community health service and a Melbourne-based ethnic women’s community organization. 

    Current research projects

    • Student Voices in Transition, a teaching-led research project (with Stuart Levy) investigating challenges faced by non-traditional and ‘first-in-family’ students commencing university study in Australia and South Africa
    • Urban youth culture in contemporary Vietnam, an ongoing anthropological project centering on youth culture, social space and class mobility in Ho Chi Minh City 


    • Levy, Stuart and Earl, Catherine, Faculty of Arts Teaching Led Research Projects 2009: Student Voices in Transition (Diploma of Tertiary Studies Book Project) – $8,723.36
    • Earl, Catherine, Latrobe Community Health Service: Commissioned Oral History of Latrobe Community Health Service – $20,000 + $2,500

    Postgraduate supervision

    • social change in 20th and 21st century Vietnam
    • post-conflict society
    • gender, sexuality and culture
    • oral history
    • social theory