Sociology Notes UPSC | Optional Books For UPSC IAS 2022

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Download Sociology Optional Books For UPSC IAS PDF Notes 2022-23. A complete study materials by Mahapatra Sir & Upendra Sir notes. Crack UPSC IAS in First Attempt.

The most important document for the preparation of sociology optional is your UPSC syllabus. UPSC gives each and every aspect of the topic very nicely & concisely. So please get a copy the syllabus printed and keep it with you whenever you are studying.

After syllabus, another source which is very basic and important for your preparation are the NCERTs. Try a glance through and read completely the NCERTs of Sociology. They will give you a basic idea, whether or not you like the subject and whether or not you find it interesting.

After the NCERTs, you can pick up the material of Upendra Sir and Mahapatra Sir sociology notes. These materials will help you to get a good information about the different topics in the syllabus. They have expalined Each and every topics in a very detailed manner.

How to score highest marks in sociology optional without coaching?

In paper 1 there is one basic thing about sociological thinkers. In sociology notes Mahapatra sir has covered entire thinkers for example Karl Marx, Max Weber etc., really well. So you can get lots of help from these notes. They have prepared these notes Very nicely and concisely.

After this basic source , you can raise level of your preparation by reading Sociology notes of Upendra Sir and Mahapatra Sir. These sociology optional notes will help you to cover the  major parts of the syllabus. In the notes of Mahapatra sir, you can refer to all chapters of paper 1 and paper 2. Those chapters will take you through the entire syllabus of paper 1 & 2. And cover the topics of family, poverty, education, work and leisure, power and politics and social stratification etc. Here the writers have covered chapter on methodology in a very detailed manner, so if you can get hold of the chapter of methodology that will be really good.

In any case if you want to deepen your understanding of the sociological thinkers this is the best resource you can refer to.  Other perspective of ethnomethodology etc are also given there. You can refer to it & make notes thoroughly out of it.

The sociology optional notes by Upendra Sir and Mahapatra sir is a resource that has everything in one place. So if you have any missing , puzzle pieces of your preparation you can refer to these notes, and cover the sociology syllabus. They are given very nicely.

Upendra Sir and Mahapatra sir’s sociology optional notes is a one stop source, where if any term you are unable to understand at any moment of your preparation, you can just go through these notes. They have explained all words and keywords really well and you can directly write that and use those words in your answers.

As you know, paper 2 is much more dynamic. So Upendra Sir and Mahapatra sir’s sociology optional notes has everything in one place,  so whatever topics that you feel, read from it, try and learn the definitions and the examples given in these notes are also very good.

Here the writers have explained different Indian thinkers like Louis Dumont, Andre Bateille, M.N Srinivas really well. Specially the concept of Yogendra Singh, they have expalined beautifully with a table. So you can refer to these notes and get a clear picture of what the indian thinkers have comprehended and what views they have given.

These sociology optional notes are also really good for the chapters like castes – the caste system , the caste mobility. The writer has explained concepts around it really well here. Moving on to the chapters on aggrarian transformation and rural sociology, these notes will really help you a lot. They have explained land system and the land reforms very nicely. Another thing in these notes is the concepts like sanskritisation and mobility, really well defined. Chapters on family and informal sectors are really good. So you can get hold of these chapters and make notes out of it.

Sociology Optional Preparation Strategy & Tips

You also rigourously need to practice answer writing. Initially you may not be able to write good answers, but you need to keep writing. Ultimately as time passby , your answers will be improved. After you have referred to and understood the notes, please also start writing answers. Beacuse when we write answers, we are able to comprehend the things in a better manner and it will also help us in getting good marks.

Beyond the booklist and the resources , the answer writing is also really important because finally its the answers which will help you to comprehend the subjects and also will fetch you marks in the exam. So try and use flow charts in your answers , try and express yourself clearly , start from definitions.

Advantage of having sociology as optional

Before we end this article, lets have a look at some of the advantages of choosing sociology optional.

  1. Overlapping of syllabus:–  There is overlapping of syllabus. The syllabus overlaps with the social issues which come in GS paper 1 and the sociology optional. Apart from that,  GS 2 nad GS 3 also.
  2. If one is aware of the society very well , he would be able to understand why government is coming with certain policies, why it is taking certain steps , what kind of section from the vulnerable section of the society. All these things can be understood in a better manner if one is well versed with sociology.
  3. Essay: Apart from that, in essay also questions usually comes from sociology section. One question would be for the marginalized section , let it be gender equality or human empowerment and let it be poverty or anything like you have most of the social issues that is faced by an administrator. So all these things usually comes very handy if you know sociology.
  4. In GS paper 4 similar thing applies, because as an administrator you should know which are the vulnerable section to whom we should  put in priority ,when it comes to providing aids and relief. So considering all these things sociology would offer a very good optional for UPSC preparation.

Complete Sociology Optional Syllabus Covered In These Notes

As an IAS officer, if one has good knowledge about sociology, he can deal with many facets of the society because knowledge of sociology will help in their work. Let’s discuss about sociology optional syllabus.

Paper – I

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 oflabour.
  • 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.

Paper – II: Sociology Syllabus


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.

(vi) Religion and Society:

  • Religious communities in India.
  • Problems of religious minorities.
  • Patriarchy, entitlements and sexual division of labour

Pro Tips: There should be no distinction between paper-1 and paper-2

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