Aspirants coming from both science and humanities backgrounds tend to choose Sociology as their UPSC optional subject thus making it widely chosen and one of the best optional subjects for UPSC. The best part about this subject is that there is no need for any specific academic background, anybody coming from any academic background can get good scores on this subject.

The most needed thing to get a good score is proper guidance, right motivation, accurate strategy and beneficial study resources. Here in this article, you are going to get all the required information on books for sociology optional UPSC and you will also be getting some expert tips to ace this subject. So, let’s begin!

Sociology Books for UPSC

Book Name Author Publication

Sociology Themes and Perspectives

Michael Haralambos, Martin Holborn Collins Educational; Eighth edition (28 May 2013)
Society In India: Concepts, Theories, And Recent Trends Ram Ahuja Rawat Pubns (1 January 1999)
Social Problems In India Ram Ahuja Rawat Pubns; Expanded, Revised, Updated edition (1 March 2014)
Sociology Anthony Giddens Wiley; Seventh edition (24 April 2013)
Sociological Theory George Ritzer McGraw-Hill (8 November 2012)
Oxford Dictionary Of Sociology John Scott Oxford University Press; Fourth edition (27 February 2015)
Modernization Of Indian Tradition Yogendra Singh Rawat (1 January 1996)
Sociological Thought Francis Abraham, John Henry Morgan Wyndham Hall Pr (1 June 1989)
Social Change In Modern India M. N. SRINIVAS Orient BlackSwan (1995)
Caste Its Twentieth Century Avatar M. N. SRINIVAS Penguin India; 1997 edition (14 October 2000)
Persistence and Change in Tribal India M.V. Rao Concept Publishing Company Pvt. Ltd. (2012)
Social Background of Indian Nationalism A. R. Desai Popular Prakashan Ltd; 6th edition (31 December 2011)

Also Read: Ace Sociology Optional with These Notes

Sociology Optional Syllabus

UPSC Sociology Syllabus – Paper-I

Fundamentals of Sociology

1. Sociology – The Discipline:
(a)  Modernity and social changes in Europe and the emergence of sociology.
(b)  Scope of the subject and comparison with other social sciences.
(c)   Sociology and common sense.
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.
3. Research Methods and Analysis:
(a)  Qualitative and quantitative methods.
(b)  Techniques of data collection.
(c)   Variables, sampling, hypothesis, reliability and validity.
4. Sociological Thinkers:
(a)  Karl Marx- Historical materialism, mode of production, alienation, class struggle.
(b)  Emile Durkheim- Division of labour, social fact, suicide, religion and society.
(c)   Max Weber- Social action, ideal types, authority, bureaucracy, the protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism.
(d)  Talcott Parsons- Social system, pattern variables.
(e)   Robert K. Merton- Latent and manifest functions, conformity and deviance, reference groups.
(f) Mead – Self and identity.
5. Stratification and Mobility:
(a) Concepts- equality, inequality, hierarchy, exclusion, poverty and deprivation.
(b) Theories of social stratification- Structural functionalist 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.
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.
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.
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, fundamentalism.
9. Systems of Kinship:
(a)  Family, household, marriage.
(b)  Types and forms of family.
(c)   Lineage and descent.
(d)  Patriarchy and the sexual division of labour.
(e)   Contemporary trends.
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.

Also Read: How to Score 300+ In Sociology: The Best Optional for UPSC

UPSC Sociology Syllabus for the Paper-II

Indian Society: Structure and Change 

A. Introducing Indian Society:
(i) Perspectives on the study of Indian society:
(a)  Indology (GS. Ghurye).
(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.
B. Social Structure:
(i) Rural and Agrarian Social Structure:
(a)  The idea of Indian village and village studies.
(b)  Agrarian social structure – the evolution of land tenure system, land reforms.
(ii)  Caste System:

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

(b)  Features of the 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.
(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 of labour.
(vi) Religion and Society:
(a)  Religious communities in India.
(b)  Problems of religious minorities.
C. Social Changes in India:
(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.
(iii) Industrialization and Urbanisation in India:
(a)  Evolution of the 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.
(v)  Social Movements in Modern India:

(a)  Peasants and farmers movements.

(b)  Women’s movement.
(c)   Backward classes & Dalit movement.
(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.
(f)  Illiteracy and disparities in education

Optional subjects play a huge role in cracking the toughest exam in India and securing a good rank. This subject is widely chosen by UPSC aspirants coming from different educational backgrounds. If you are reading this then chances are that you have already gone through the most referred book list for sociology optional UPSC and also have gone through the UPSC sociology syllabus, the one thing that is left now is the right guidance. For better performance and preparation get enrolled to the best online UPSC class where you can get one to one mentorship. Best of luck!

Also Read : Sociology Optional Syllabus for UPSC: Check-out all You Need to Know for IAS 2021

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Shilpa is a professional web content writer and is in deep love with travelling. She completed her mass communication degree and is now dedicatedly playing with words to guide her readers to get the best for themselves. Developing educational content for UPSC, IELTS aspirants from breakthrough research work is her forte. Strongly driven by her zodiac sign Sagittarius, Shilpa loves to live her life on her own notes and completely agrees with the idea of ‘live and let live. Apart from writing and travelling, most of the time she can be seen in the avatar of 'hooman' mom to her pets and street dogs or else you can also catch her wearing the toque blanche and creating magic in the kitchen on weekends.

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