UPSC Mains Exam Syllabus - Sociology Optional
PAPER - I:
FUNDAMENTALS OF SOCIOLOGY
1. Sociology - The Discipline:
(a) Modernity and social changes in Europe
and 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
(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
4. Sociological Thinkers:
(a) Karl Marx- Historical materialism,
mode of production, alienation, class
(b) Emile Durkheim- Division of labour, social
fact, suicide, religion and society.
(c) Max Weber- Social action, ideal types,
authority, bureaucracy, protestant
ethic and the spirit of capitalism.
(d) Talcolt Parsons- Social system, pattern
(e) Robert K. Merton- Latent and manifest
functions, conformity and deviance,
(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
(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
(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
9. Systems of Kinship:
(a) Family, household, marriage.
(b) Types and forms of family.
(c) Lineage and descent.
(d) Patriarchy and sexual division of
(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
PAPER - II:
INDIAN SOCIETY : STRUCTURE
A. Introducing Indian Society:
(i) Perspectives on the study of Indian
(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
(d) Social reforms.
B. Social Structure:
(i) Rural and Agrarian Social Structure:
(a) The idea of Indian village and village
(b) Agrarian social structure - 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 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
(b) Constitution, law and social change.
(c) Education and social change.
(ii) Rural and Agrarian transformation
(a) Programmes of rural development,
Community Development Programme,
cooperatives, poverty alleviation
(b) Green revolution and social change.
(c) Changing modes of production in Indian
(d) Problems of rural labour, bondage,
(iii) Industrialization and Urbanisation in
(a) Evolution of modern industry in India.
(b) Growth of urban settlements in India.
(c) Working class: structure, growth, class
(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
(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
(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
(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
(f) Illiteracy and disparities in education.