Department of Sociology

Ed Collom

Professor of Sociology


120 Bedford Street, Portland Campus

Office Hours Summer 2016

By appointment

Contact Information

Phone: 228-8385

I received my PhD in Sociology from the University of California-Riverside in June 2001 and became Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Southern Maine in September 2001. In September 2007 I was promoted to Associate Professor.  In September 2013 I was promoted to Professor.  From June 2008 through May 2011 I served as Chair of Sociology.  From June 2011 through May 2013 I served as President of USM AFUM, our faculty union.  I was the recipient of the 2006 Emerging Teacher-Scholar Award and the 2010-2011 Provost's Research Fellowship. I am currently the 2015-2016 Trustee Professor.

As native Southern Californians, my family and I have adjusted well to Maine and particularly enjoy the great city of Portland.

Research Interests

The broad areas of specialization that I work in are social movements, social networks, the sociology of work, the sociology of education, political sociology, and social inequality. I am primarily a quantitative survey researcher, but also employ other methods (most notably social network analysis) regularly. My research tends to surround the study of alternative social forms and focuses on three areas in particular: community currency (an alternative to the mainstream economy), home schooling (an alternative to the public education system), and workplace democracy (an alternative to bureaucratic control structures). All three of these are "bottom-up" initiatives to empower the marginalized. Community currencies and home schooling are forms of what I call "alternative social movements."

Recent Publications

“Microfinance, Cooperatives, and Time Banks: Community-Provided Welfare.”  In S. Harper and K.Hamblin, eds., International Handbook on Ageing and Public Policy (2014), pp. 433-444. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Ed Collom, Judith N. Lasker, and Corinne Kyriacou. Equal Time, Equal Value: Community Currencies and Time Banking in the US. Surrey, England: Ashgate Publishing (August 2012).

"Motivations and Differential Participation in a Community Currency System: The Dynamics within a Local Social Movement Organization," Sociological Forum, 26, No 1 (2011), pp. 144-168. 





















Opening for Fixed-Length Lecturer in Sociology

Lecturer in Sociology

Department of Criminology, Economics and Sociology


The University of Southern Maine invites applications for a one-year, fixed-length Lecturer position in Sociology to begin September 2016.  Applicants must document successful teaching and a commitment to excellence in undergraduate education.  The length of the initial appointment will be for one academic year with possibility of an extension for up to two additional years.


The successful candidate will teach four courses per semester, including Introduction to Sociology and upper-division elective courses in the candidate’s area(s) of expertise.  Preference will be given to candidates whose courses contribute to Criminology and/or Economics and who have experience teaching Quantitative Research Methods. The successful candidate will be expected to teach on both our Portland and Gorham campuses and online, and to engage in departmental service. The Department of Criminology, Economics and Sociology offers four majors; more information about the Sociology program can be found at


The University of Southern Maine (USM) is Maine’s Metropolitan University, dedicated to providing students with a high-quality, accessible, affordable education.  USM’s strategic focus is in alignment with the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities and we are seeking to become a Carnegie Engaged University by the year 2020.  USM offers Baccalaureate, Master's, and Doctoral programs, providing students with rich learning and community engagement opportunities in the arts, humanities, politics, health sciences, business, mass communications, science, engineering, and technology.  Further information on USM can be found at     


USM’s three environmentally friendly campuses are unique, yet all share the extensive resources of the university — and all are energized through strong community partnerships.  Offering easy access to Boston, plus the ocean, mountains and forests of coastal, inland and northern Maine, USM is at the heart of Maine's most exciting metropolitan region:

  • Our Portland campus is located in "one of America’s most livable cities," according to Forbes magazine, which also ranks Portland among the top 10 for job prospects.  A creative and diverse community on Maine’s scenic coast, Portland is nationally known as a "foodie" hot spot!
  • USM’s beautiful residential Gorham campus  supports and celebrates excellence in academics, athletics, music and the arts and is home to ten Living Learning Communities and six Residential Communities.
  • Our Lewiston campus is home to USM’s innovative and richly diverse Lewiston-Auburn College. This Central Maine campus integrates classroom, community and workplace, and provides a small college experience with the resources of a large university.




  • ABD in Sociology or closely related field



  • PhD in Sociology


Apply online at: You will need to create an applicant profile and complete an application (which includes contact information for three professional references).  You will need to upload a cover letter, a resume/curriculum vitae which fully describes your qualifications and experiences with specific reference to the required and preferred qualifications. You will also need to complete the affirmative action survey, the self-identification of disability form, and the self-identification of veteran status form.  


Review of applications will begin immediately.  To ensure full consideration, materials should be submitted by May 1, 2016.  Materials received on or after that date will be considered at the discretion of the university.  We are not able to consider applicants who require Visa sponsorship support.


USM is an EEO/AA employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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