Sociology Optional Books and Syllabus For UPSC Exam

UPSC conducts the most distinguished competitive exam, The Civil Services Examination, of the nation in India. The aspirants are given free hand to choose subjects of their own choice in these exams. UPSC provides a range of interesting and scoring subjects to aspirants. Sociology is considered one of the easiest and high scoring optional subjects. Aspirants prefer sociology because it is a scoring subject with elementary concepts.

Sociology includes the study of society, its relationships, communication and culture. Various methods are used in sociology to probe and evaluate society, social order and societal transformations. UPSC allotted modest syllabus for sociology as compared to other subjects. The syllabus contents of sociology, in terms of concept, are quite easy to understand. Even aspirants with science background can opt this subject confidently. Sociology is a very helpful subject as it overlaps with General Studies paper I in UPSC Mains (Indian society part). It also assists in GS2,GS3 and essay papers. Generally one essay is asked about social issues in papers every year. Main focus of the Sociology UPSC syllabus is contemporary issues of society. Sociology is not only a scoring subject but also helpful for an IAS officer because he/she has to deal with many aspects of society. 

Before taking your preparations forward, you must be well clued-up with the IAS syllabus of sociology. You cannot use the tool without reading the manual. So, if you want to strengthen your expertise and overcome your weakness in different areas of sociology, you should have all-inclusive knowledge of the IAS optional syllabus of sociology. You have to appear for paper I and paper II of sociology UPSC optional. Each paper is of 250 marks with a total of both papers is 500 marks. This article will provide you with a detailed IAS optional syllabus of sociology.

Books to Refer for Sociology UPSC Exam

There are a lot of civil engineering optional upsc books that you could refer to get in touch with the syllabus related to the exam. There are a lot of books written by many prolific Indian and foriegn writer that you could refer for civil engineering optional. Here are some of the most recommended civil engineering optional upsc books that you could study for exams

Books for Paper 1

  • Sociology – Anthony Giddens
  • Sociological Theory – Ritzer George
  • Sociology – Haralambos & Holborn
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Sociology
  • Sociological Thought – M Francis Abraham and John Henry Morgan
  • Political Theory – O P Gauba

Books for Paper 2

  • Social Change in India – M N Srinivas
  • Caste Its Twentieth Century Avatar – M N Srinivas
  • Handbook of Indian Sociology – Veena Das
  • Indian Society and Culture – Nadeem Hasnain
  • Modernization of Indian Tradition – Yogendra Singh
  • Persistence and Change in Tribal India – M.V. Rao
  • Rural Sociology – S L Doshi
  • Social Background of Indian Nationalism – A R Desai

UPSC Sociology Optional Syllabus for paper I

(Fundamentals of Sociology)

  1. Sociology – The Discipline
  2. Modernity and social changes in Europe and the emergence of sociology.
  3. Scope of the subject and comparison with other social sciences.
  4. Sociology and common sense.
  1. Sociology as Science:
  2. Science, scientific method and critique.
  3. Major theoretical strands of research methodology.
  4. Positivism and its critique.
  5. Fact value and objectivity.
  6. Non- positivist methodologies.
  1. Research Methods and Analysis:
  2. Qualitative and quantitative methods.
  3. Techniques of data collection.
  4. Variables, sampling, hypothesis, reliability and validity.
  1. Sociological Thinkers:
  2. Karl Marx- Historical materialism, mode of production, alienation, class struggle.
  3. Emile Durkheim- Division of labour, social fact, suicide, religion and society.
  4. Max Weber- Social action, ideal types, authority, bureaucracy, protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism.
  5. Talcolt Parsons- Social system, pattern variables.
  6. Robert K. Merton- Latent and manifest functions, conformity and deviance, reference groups.
  7. Mead – Self and identity.
  1. Stratification and Mobility:
  2. Concepts- equality, inequality, hierarchy, exclusion, poverty and deprivation.
  3. Theories of social stratification- Structural functionalist theory, Marxist theory, Weberian theory.
  4. Dimensions – Social stratification of class, status groups, gender, ethnicity and race.
  5. Social mobility- open and closed systems, types of mobility, sources and causes of mobility.
  1. Works and Economic Life:
  2. Social organization of work in different types of society- slave society, feudal society, industrial /capitalist society.
  3. Formal and informal organization of work.
  4. Labor and society.
  1. Politics and Society:
  2. Sociological theories of power.
  3. Power elite, bureaucracy, pressure groups, and political parties.
  4. Nation, state, citizenship, democracy, civil society, ideology.
  5. Protest, agitation, social movements, collective action, revolution.
  1. Religion and Society:
  2. Sociological theories of religion.
  3. Types of religious practices: animism, monism, pluralism, sects, cults.
  4. Religion in modern society: religion and science, secularization, religious revivalism, fundamentalism.
  1. Systems of Kinship:
  2. Family, household, marriage.
  3. Types and forms of family.
  4. Lineage and descent.
  5. Patriarchy and sexual division of labor.
  • Contemporary trends.
  1. Social Change in Modern Society:
  2. Sociological theories of social change.
  3. Development and dependency.
  4. Agents of social change.
  5. Education and social change.
  6. Science, technology and social change.

UPSC Sociology Optional Syllabus  For Paper II

The Paper-II for Sociology optional is divided into three different sections. The defined syllabus under each section is provided below: 

1. Introductory Indian Society

(i) Perspectives on the study of Indian society:

  • Indology (GS. Ghurye).
  • Structural functionalism (M N Srinivas)
  • Marxist sociology (A R Desai).

(ii) Impact of colonial rule on Indian society:

  • Social background of Indian nationalism.
  • Modernization of Indian tradition.
  • Protests and movements during the colonial period.
  • Social reforms.

2. Social Structure

(i) Rural and Agrarian Social Structure:

  • The idea of Indian village and village studies.
  • Agrarian social structure – evolution of land tenure system, land reforms.

(ii) Caste System:

  • Perspectives on the study of caste systems: GS Ghurye, M N Srinivas, Louis Dumont, Andre Beteille.
  • Features of caste system.
  • Untouchability – forms and perspectives.

(iii) Tribal communities in India:

  • Definitional problems.
  • Geographical spread.
  • Colonial policies and tribes.
  • Issues of integration and autonomy.

(iv) Social Classes in India:

  • Agrarian class structure.
  • Industrial class structure.
  • Middle classes in India.

(v) Systems of Kinship in India:

  • Lineage and descent in India.
  • Types of kinship systems.
  • Family and marriage in India.
  • Household dimensions of the family.

(vi) Religion and Society:

  • Religious communities in India.
  • Problems of religious minorities.
  • Patriarchy, entitlements and sexual division of labor

3. Social Changes in India

(i) Visions of Social Change in India:

  • Idea of development planning and mixed economy.
  • Constitution, law and social change.
  • Education and social change.

(ii) Rural and Agrarian transformation in India:

  • Programs of rural development, Community Development Programs, cooperatives, poverty alleviation schemes.
  • Green revolution and social change.
  • Changing modes of production in Indian agriculture.
  • Problems of rural labor, bondage, migration.

(iii) Industrialization and Urbanization in India:

  • Evolution of modern industry in India.
  • Growth of urban settlements in India.
  • Working class: structure, growth, class mobilization.
  • Informal sector, child labor.
  • Slums and deprivation in urban areas.

(iv) Politics and Society:

  • Nation, democracy and citizenship.
  • Political parties, pressure groups, social and political elite.
  • Regionalism and decentralization of power.
  • Secularization

(v) Social Movements in Modern India:

  • Peasants and farmers movements.
  • Women’s movement.
  • Backward classes & Dalit movement.
  • Environmental movements.
  • Ethnicity and Identity movements.

(vi) Population Dynamics:

  • Population size, growth, composition and distribution.
  • Components of population growth: birth, death, migration.
  • Population policy and family planning.
  • Emerging issues: aging, sex ratios, child and infant mortality, reproductive health.

(vii) Challenges of Social Transformation:

  • Crisis of development: displacement, environmental problems, and sustainability.
  • Poverty, deprivation and inequalities.
  • Violence against women.
  • Caste conflicts.
  • Ethnic conflicts, communalism, religious revivalism.
  • Illiteracy and disparities in education.

UPSC optional syllabus of sociology has been analyzed in detail in this article. If you are planning to opt sociology then you need to go through this article. This article will help you to acquire detailed knowledge of IAS sociology syllabus so that you become versant of each and every aspect of the syllabus. Now, start preparation with a highly effective study plan for your study.

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