UPSC Sociology Syllabus

UPSC Sociology Syllabus for IAS Mains

UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam has Sociology as one of the Optional Subjects with 2 papers (Optional Paper I and Paper II). The mains examination is a part of IAS Exam which has 3 stages- Prelims, Mains and Interview.

Sociology subject matter has overlap with General Studies Paper 1 in UPSC Mains (Indian Society part) and it is also helpful for GS 2, GS 3 and Essay paper. The nature of the Sociology UPSC Syllabus focuses on contemporary issues in society.

Sociology Optional Syllabus for UPSC

IAS optional paper is of 250 marks with a total of 500 marks. Sociology as an optional subject in UPSC Mains is a popular choice among aspirants as an IAS officer has to deal with many facets of the society and knowledge of sociology is helpful in their work.

UPSC Sociology Optional Syllabus for Paper I

1 – Sociology – The Discipline:

(a) Modernity and social changes in Europe and emergence of Sociology.

(b) Scope of the subject and comparison with other social sciences.

(c) Sociology and common sense.

3 – Research Methods and Analysis:

(a) Qualitative and quantitative methods.

(b) Techniques of data collection.

(c) Variables, sampling, hypothesis, reliability and validity.

5. Stratification and Mobility :

(a) Concepts – equality, inequality, hierarchy, exclusion, poverty and deprivation.

(b) Theories of social stratification – Structural func tionalist theory, Marxist theory, Weberian theory.

(c) Dimensions – Social stratification of class, status groups, gender, ethnicity and race.

(d) Social mobility – open and closed systems, types of mobility, sources and causes of mobility.

7. Politics and Society:

(a) Sociological theories of power.

(b) Power elite, bureaucracy, pressure groups and political parties.

(c) Nation, state, citizenship, democracy, civil society, ideology.

(d) Protest, agitation, social movements, collective action, revolution.

9. Systems of Kinship:

(a) Family, household, marriage.

(b) Types and forms of family.

(c) Lineage and descent.

(d) Patriarchy and sexual division of labour.

(e) Contem porary trends.

2 – Sociology as Science:

(a) Science, scientific method and critique.

(b) Major theoretical strands of research methodology.

(c) Positivism and its critique.

(d) Fact value and objectivity. ( e) Non-positivist methodologies.

4 – Sociological Thinkers:

(a) Karl Marx – Historical materialism, mode of production, alienation, class

(b) Emile Durkhteim – Division of labour, social fact, suicide, religion and society.

(c) Max Weber – Social action, ideal types, authority, bureaucracy, protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism.

(d) Talcolt Parsons – Social system, pattern variables.

(e) Robert K. Merton – Latent and manifest functions, conformity and deviance, reference groups.

(f) Mead – Self and identity.

6. Works and Economic Life :

(a) Social organization of work in different types of society – slave society, feudal society, industrial capitalist society.

(b) Formal and informal organization of work.

(c) Labour and society.

8. Religion and Society :

(a) Sociological theories of religion.

(b) Types of religious practices: animism, monism, pluralism, sects, cults.

(c) Religion in modern society: religion and science, secularization, religious revivalism, fundamen talism.

10. Social Change in Modern Society :

(a) Sociological theories of social change.

(b) Development and dependency.

(c) Agents of social change.

(d) Education and social change.

(e) Science, technology and social change.

UPSC Sociology Optional Syllabus for Paper II

A. Introducing Indian Society :

(I) Perspectives on the Study of Indian Society :

(a) Indology (G.S. Ghure).

(b) Structural functionalism (M. N. Srinivas).

(c) Marxist sociology (A. R. Desai).

(ii) Impact of colonial rule on Indian society :

(a) Social background of Indian nationalism.

(b) Modernization of Indian tradition.

(c) Protests and movements during the colonial period.

(d) Social reforms.

(iv) Social Classes in India:

(a) Agrarian class structure.

(b) Industrial class structure.

(c) Middle classes in India.

(v) Systems of Kinship in India:

(a) Lineage and descent in India.

(b) Types of kinship systems.

(c) Family and marriage in India.

(d) Household dimensions of the family.

(e) Patriarchy, entitlements and sexual division ofiabour.

(vi) Religion and Society :

(a) Religious communities in India.

(b) Problems of religious minorities.

(C) Social Changes in India:

(iii) Industrialization and Urbanisation in India:

(a) Evolution of modern Industry in India.

(b) Growth of urban settlements in India.

(c) Working class: structure, growth, class mobilization.

(d) Informal sector, child labour.

(e) Slums and deprivation in urban areas.

(iv) Politics and Society :

(a) Nation, democracy and citizenship.

(b) Political parties, pressure groups, social and political elite.

(c) Regionalism and decentralization of power.

(d) Secularization.

B. Social Structure:

(i) Rural and Agrarian Social Structure:

(a) The idea of Indian village and village studies.

(b) Agrarian social structure—evolution of land tenure system, land reforms.

(ii) Caste System:

(a) Perspectives on the study of caste systems: G. S. Ghurye, M. N. Srinivas, Louis Dumont, Andre Beteille.

(b) Features of caste system.

(c) Untouchability-forms and perspectives (iii) Tribal Communities in India:

(a) Definitional problems.

(b) Geographical spread.

(c) Colonial policies and tribes.

(d) Issues of integration and autonomy.

(i) Visions of Social Change in India:

(a) Idea of development planning and mixed economy.

(b) Constitution, law and social change.

(c) Education and social change.

(ii) Rural and Agrarian Transformation in India:

(a) Programmes of rural development, Community Development Programme, cooperatives, poverty alleviation schemes.

(b) Green revolution and social change.

(c) Changing modes of production in Indian agriculture.

(d) Problems of rural labour, bondage, migration.

(v) Social Movements in Modern India :

(a) Peasants and farmers movements.

(b) Women’s movement.

(c) Backward classes & Dalit movements.

(d) Environmental movements.

(e) Ethnicity and Identity movements.

(vi) Population Dynamics :

(a) Population size, growth, composition and distribution.

(b) Components of population growth: birth, death, migration.

(c) Population Policy and family planning.

(d) Emerging issues: ageing, sex ratios, child and infant mortality, reproductive health.

(vii) Challenges of Social Transformation :

(a) Crisis of development : displacement, environmental problems and sustainability.

(b) Poverty, deprivation and inequalities.

(c) Violence against women.

(d) Caste conflicts.

(e) Ethnic conflicts, communalism, religious revivalism. (0 Illiteracy and disparities in education.

IAS aspirants would notice that Sociology for UPSC has a significant overlap with topics from General Studies, so they should prepare for the papers simultaneously. Also, candidates should solve more questions from previous years’ UPSC question papers as well as from mock tests to be able to crack the UPSC Sociology exam.