IAS Exam has one of the optional subjects as Sociology. It has two papers (I & II), each of 250 marks summing up to 500 for the paper. Duration for each paper is 3 hours. It is easy to crack this optional subject for those who have a keen interest in Sociology. Paper-I is more subjective and deals with the theories of sociology. Paper-II deals by and large with Indian society. Below we have provided Sociology Optional Syllabus for UPSC Mains 2021. Download the complete syllabus PDF from here.
UPSC Sociology Syllabus – Paper I
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.
UPSC Sociology Syllabus – Paper II
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.
(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.
UPSC Sociology Syllabus 2021 – PDF Download