Charles Chear is a PhD candidate studying how and why poor people move, and the relationship between moving and socioeconomic conditions such as housing and work. Populations of interest include convenience store (‘bodega’) workers and Housing Choice Voucher (‘Section 8’) recipients. Prior to research, Charles was a social worker serving diverse populations and organizations in Massachusetts, Arizona, Tohono O’odham Nation, Pennsylvania, and Cambodia.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Rutgers University, School of Social Work, New Brunswick, NJ (expected May 2025)
  • Master of Social Work, Boston University, School of Social Work, Boston, MA (2011)
  • Bachelor of Arts, Sociology, Certificate in Asian American Studies, University of Massachusetts, Boston, MA (2006)

Research Experience

  • Research Assistant, Dr. Woojin Jung, Rutgers University, Machine Learning and Multimodal Analysis to Measure Poverty and Improve Aid Targeting
  • Co-Investigator, Dr. Camille MacKenzie and Dr. Antoinette Farmer, Rutgers University, Sense of Belonging: Implications for the Mental Health Outcomes of Students from Diverse Backgrounds
  • Co-Investigator, Dr. Håvard Aaslund, Oslo Metropolitan University, Protests Against Social Welfare and Public Health Regimes
  • Research Assistant, Dr. Leakhena Nou, California State University-Long Beach, Psychosocial Adjustment of Cambodian Refugees in Massachusetts

Recent Publications

Aaslund, H., & Chear, C. (2020). Marginalised groups protest against social welfare and public health: Conceptualising the challenge for social workers. European Journal of Social Work.

In the News

Chear, Charles. (2020). Envisioning a more inclusive ‘future of work’. NextCity

Chear, Charles. (2020). Can a business still be small with 500 employees?. Yahoo! News (The Conversation)

Chear, Charles. (2019). In the fight against anti-Semitism and hate we must protect ethnic stores. Star-Ledger (