Civil Service Mains Examination - Sociology Syllabus - 2018
Sociology is the scientific study of society, social relationships including patterns of social communication and culture. It uses a variety of methods to investigate and analyse the body of knowledge about social order, transformation and change. In terms of UPSC, Sociology Syllabus for UPSC IAS Exam plays an important role in deciding the rank of candidates in UPSC IAS Exam.
UPSC Sociology Syllabus PDF [Download]
Why Sociology is so important?
Sociology has turned out as a vital part of General Studies (paper) well as an optional paper in the Civil Services Mains Examination. Being one of the easiest optional subjects, many candidates choose Sociology as an optional for UPSC IAS Mains Exam. Like, other optional subjects’ sociology has two papers. Paper I of Sociology deals with the fundamentals of Sociology where Paper II of Sociology optional deals with the Indian society, its structure, and change.
Why many consider Sociology for optional paper?
It is easy to understand and is scoring. It is a pure social science and is very popular among arts and humanities students. Since it is easy to understand in terms of concepts, even science background students can attempt it safely. Sociology has a shorter syllabus. The subject helps with the essay paper since generally at least one essay is asked about social issues. Besides, it will also help in the interview round. Sociology also helps in the ethics paper. It is interesting, especially if social and civil issues matter to the aspirant. It helps to understand society and its myriad layers and functioning. Many successful aspirants consider sociology is good option instead of Geography. Because, for geography they need to be absolutely correct in maps otherwise, one can lose marks and there is a lot of competition for Geography, since many aspirants opt for this. Also, students need to distinguish their answers from other. Many also feel that the UPSC syllabus for Geography is bigger than Sociology.
Sociology – Main Syllabus
Paper – I
FUNDAMENTALS OF SOCIOLOGY
1. Sociology - The Discipline
2. Sociology as Science:
- Modernity and social changes in Europe and emergence of sociology.
- Scope of the subject and comparison
with other social sciences.
- Sociology and common sense.
3. Research Methods and Analysis:
- Science, scientific method and critique.
- Major theoretical strands of research
- Positivism and its critique.
- Fact value and objectivity.
- Non- positivist methodologies.
4. Sociological Thinkers:
- Qualitative and quantitative methods.
- Techniques of data collection.
- Variables, sampling, hypothesis, reliability and validity.
5. Stratification and Mobility:
- Karl Marx- Historical materialism,
mode of production, alienation, class
- Emile Durkheim- Division of labour, social fact, suicide, religion and society.
- Max Weber- Social action, ideal types,
authority, bureaucracy, protestant
ethic and the spirit of capitalism.
- Talcolt Parsons- Social system, pattern variables.
- Robert K. Merton- Latent and manifest functions, conformity and deviance, reference groups.
- Mead - Self and identity.
6. Works and Economic Life:
- Concepts- equality, inequality, hierarchy, exclusion, poverty and deprivation.
- Theories of social stratification- Structural functionalist theory, Marxist
theory, Weberian theory.
- Dimensions – Social stratification of
class, status groups, gender, ethnicity
- Social mobility- open and closed systems, types of mobility, sources and
causes of mobility.
7. Politics and Society:
- Social organization of work in different
types of society- slave society, feudal
society, industrial /capitalist society.
- Formal and informal organization of
- Labour and society.
8. Religion and Society:
- Sociological theories of power.
- Power elite, bureaucracy, pressure
groups, and political parties.
- Nation, state, citizenship, democracy,
civil society, ideology.
- Protest, agitation, social movements,
collective action, revolution.
9. Systems of Kinship:
- Sociological theories of religion.
- Types of religious practices: animism,
monism, pluralism, sects, cults.
- Religion in modern society: religion
and science, secularization, religious
10. Social Change in Modern Society:
- Family, household, marriage.
- Types and forms of family.
- Lineage and descent.
- Patriarchy and sexual division oflabour.
- Contemporary trends.
- Sociological theories of social change.
- Development and dependency.
- Agents of social change.
- Education and social change.
- Science, technology and social change.
Paper - II: Sociology Syllabus
1 INDIAN SOCIETY: STRUCTURE AND CHANGE
A. Introducing Indian Society:
(i) Perspectives on the study of Indian
(ii) Impact of colonial rule on Indian society :
- Indology (GS. Ghurye).
- Structural functionalism (M N Srinivas).
- Marxist sociology (A R Desai).
B. Social Structure:
- Social background of Indian nationalism.
- Modernization of Indian tradition.
- Protests and movements during the
- Social reforms.
(i) Rural and Agrarian Social Structure:
(ii) Caste System:
- The idea of Indian village and village
- Agrarian social structure - evolution of
land tenure system, land reforms.
(iii) Tribal communities in India:
- Perspectives on the study of caste systems: GS Ghurye, M N Srinivas, Louis
Dumont, Andre Beteille.
- Features of caste system.
- Untouchability - forms and perspectives.
(iv) Social Classes in India:
- Definitional problems.
- Geographical spread.
- Colonial policies and tribes.
- Issues of integration and autonomy.
(v) Systems of Kinship in India:
- Agrarian class structure.
- Industrial class structure.
- Middle classes in India.
(vi) Religion and Society:
- Lineage and descent in India.
- Types of kinship systems.
- Family and marriage in India.
- Household dimensions of the family..
- Religious communities in India.
- Problems of religious minorities.
- Patriarchy, entitlements and sexual division of labour
NOTE - check the recent syllabus