Sociology Optional Courses for UPSC CSE

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Part B - Optional subject - Sociology

Part B - Optional subject - Sociology


Fundamentals of Sociology

1. Sociology - The Discipline

  • Modernity and social changes in Europe and emergence of sociology.
  • Scope of the subject and comparison with other social sciences.
  • Sociology and common sense.

2. Sociology as Science

  • Science, scientific method and critique.
  • Major theoretical strands of research methodology.
  • Positivism and its critique.
  • Fact value and objectivity.
  • Non- positivist methodologies.

3. Research Methods and Analysis

  • Qualitative and quantitative methods.
  • Techniques of data collection.
  • Variables, sampling, hypothesis, reliability and validity.

4. Sociological Thinkers

  • Karl Marx- Historical materialism, mode of production, alienation, class struggle.
  • 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.

5. Stratification and Mobility

  • 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 and race.
  • Social mobility- open and closed systems, types of mobility, sources and causes of mobility.

6. Works and Economic Life

  • Social organization of work in different types of society- slave society, feudal society, industrial /capitalist society.
  • Formal and informal organization of work
  • Labour and society.

7. Politics 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.

8. Religion and Society

  • Sociological theories of religion.
  • Types of religious practices: animism, monism, pluralism, sects, cults.
  • Religion in modern society: religion and science, secularization, religious revivalism, fundamentalism.

9. Systems of Kinship

  • Family, household, marriage.
  • Types and forms of family.
  • Lineage and descent
  • Patriarchy and sexual division of labour
  • Contemporary trends.

10. Social Change in Modern Society

  • Sociological theories of social change.
  • Development and dependency.
  • Agents of social change.
  • Education and social change.
  • Science, technology and social change.


Indian Society: Structure and Change

A. Introducing 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

B. 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.
  • Patriarchy, entitlements and sexual division of labour.

(vi) Religion and Society

  • Religious communities in India.
  • Problems of religious minorities.

C. 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

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

(iii) Industrialization and Urbanisation in India

  • Evolution of modern industry in India.
  • Growth of urban settlements in India.
  • Working class: structure, growth, class mobilization.
  • Informal sector, child labour
  • 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: ageing, 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