UPSC Sociology Optional Syllabus
Sociology Optional syllabus for UPSC Main Examination is divided into Paper-1 and Paper-2. While Paper-1 comprises of the core sociological concepts, Paper-2 largely deals with Indian society. We’ve here tabulated the topic-wise sociology optional syllabus for your convenience.
Paper 1: Fundamentals of Sociology
Sociology - The Discipline
- Modernity and social changes in Europe and the emergence of sociology.
- Scope of the subject and comparison with other social sciences.
- Sociology and common sense.
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.
Research Methods and Analysis
- Qualitative and quantitative methods.
- Techniques of data collection.
- Variables, sampling, hypothesis, reliability, and validity.
- Karl Marx- Historical materialism, mode of production, alienation, class struggle.
- Emile Durkheim- Division of labor, social fact, suicide, religion, and society.
- Max Weber- Social action, ideal types, authority, bureaucracy, the protestant ethic, and the spirit of capitalism.
- Talcott Parsons- Social system, pattern variables.
- Robert K. Merton- Latent and manifest functions, conformity and deviance, reference groups.
- Mead - Self and identity.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Systems of Kinship
- Family, household, marriage.
- Types and forms of family.
- Lineage and descent.
- Patriarchy and sexual division oflabour.
- Contemporary trends.
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.
Paper 2: Indian Society: Structure and Change
Introducing Indian Society
Perspectives on the study of Indian society
- Indology (GS. Ghurye)
- Structural functionalism (M N Srinivas)
- Marxist sociology (A R Desai)
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
Rural and Agrarian Social Structure
- The idea of Indian village and village studies
- Agrarian social structure - evolution of land tenure system, land reforms
- Perspectives on the study of caste systems: GS Ghurye, M N Srinivas, Louis Dumont, Andre Beteille
- Features of caste system
- Untouchability - forms and perspectives
Tribal communities in India
- Definitional problems
- Geographical spread
- Colonial policies and tribes
- Issues of integration and autonomy
Social Classes in India
- Agrarian class structure
- Industrial class structure
- Middle classes in India
Systems of Kinship in India
- Lineage and descent in India
- Types of kinship systems
- Family and marriage in India
- Household dimensions of the family
Religion and Society
- Religious communities in India
- Problems of religious minorities
- Patriarchy, entitlements and sexual division of labor
Social Changes in India
Visions of Social Change in India
- Idea of development planning and mixed economy
- Constitution, law and social change
- Education and social change
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
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
Politics and Society
- Nation, democracy and citizenship
- Political parties, pressure groups, social and political elite
- Regionalism and decentralization of power
Social Movements in Modern India
- Peasants and farmers movements
- Women’s movement
- Backward classes & Dalit movement
- Environmental movements
- Ethnicity and Identity movements
- 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
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