Civil Services Mains Syllabus of Sociology

sociology syllabus upsc
Written by Dr. SS

UPSC has a long list of optional subjects out of which you can select any subject of your choice. Here we are giving an outline of UPSC Sociology Syllabus in pdf.

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sociology syllabus upsc

UPSC Mains Syllabus of Sociology Optional



  1. Sociology – The Discipline:

Social changes and Modern thoughts in Europe and emergence of sociology.

Scope and comparison with other social sciences.

Sociology and relevance of common sense.

  1. Sociology as Science:

Science and its elements, scientific method and critique.

Research Methodology and its major theoretical strands.

Positivism and its criticism.

Non- positivist methodologies

Fact value and objectivity.

  1. Research Methods and Analysis:

Quantitative and Qualitative methods.

Data Collection and its techniques.

Variables, sampling and types, hypothesis, reliability and validity.

  1. Sociological Thinkers:

Karl Marx- Historical materialism, class struggle, mode of production, alienation

Emile Durkheim- social fact,  Division of labour, suicide, religion and society.

Max Weber, ideal types, TalcoltSocial action, authority, bureaucracy, protestant ethic and the spirit of capitTalcott

Parsons- pattern variables, Social system.

Robert K. Merton- Latent and manifest functions, reference groups, conformity and deviance.

Mead – Self and identity.

  1. Stratification and Mobility:

Concepts- hierarchy, equality, inequality, exclusion, poverty and deprivation.

Study of Theories related to social stratification- Structural functionalist theory, Weberian theory, Marxist theory,

Dimensions – Status groups, Social stratification of class, gender, ethnicity and race.

Social mobility- open and closed systems, types of mobility, sources and causes of mobility.

  1. Works and Economic Life:

Social organisation of work in different types of society-, feudal society, organisation, slave society, industrial /capitalist society.

Formal organisation of work.

Labour and society.

  1. Politics and Society:

Power and Sociological theories.

Power elite, pressure groups ,bureaucracy,  and political parties.

Nation, state, democracy, citizenship, civil society, ideology.

Social movements, Protest, agitation, collective action, revolution.

  1. Religion and Society:

The concept of Religion and Sociological theories.

Types of religious practices: animism,  pluralism, monism, sects, cults.

Religion in modern society: religion and science, religious revivalism, secularization, fundamentalism.

  1. Systems of Kinship:

Marriage, impact andFamily, household.

Types and various forms of family.

The concept of Lineage and descent.

Patriarcimpact and sexual division of labour.

Contemporary trends.

  1. Social Change in Modern Society:

Social Change and Sociological theories .

Development and dependency.

Education and social change.

Agents of social change.

Science, technology and role in social change.

Second Paper of UPSC Mains Syllabus of Sociology


  1. Indian Society and its Introduction:

(i) Aspects of the study of Indian society:

Structural functionalism (M N Srinivas).

Indology (GS. Ghurye).

Marxist sociology (AR Desai).

(ii) An impact of colonial rule on Indian society:

Social background of Indian nationalism.

Protests and movements during the colonial period.

Modernization of Indian tradition.

Social reforms.

  1. Social Structure:

(i) Rural and Agrarian Social Structure:

Agrarian social structure – the evolution of land tenure system, land reforms.

The idea of an Indian village and village studies.

(ii) Caste System:

Perspectives on the study of caste systems: M N Srinivas , G S Ghurye, Louis Dumont, Andre Beteille.

Caste System and its features .

Untouchability – its forms and perspectives.

(iii) Tribal communities in India:

Definitional problems.

Colonial policies and tribes.

Geographical spread.

Issues of integration and autonomy.

(iv) Social Classes in India:

Industrial class structure.

Agrarian 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:

Problems of religious minorities.

Religious communities in India.

  1. Social Changes in India:

(i) Visions of Social Change in India:

Idea of development planning and mixed economy.

Education and social change.

Constitution, law and social change.

 (ii) Rural and Agrarian transformation in India:

Programmes of rural development, cooperatives, poverty alleviation schemes.

Community Development Programme.

Green revolution and impact on social change.

Changing modes of production in Indian agriculture .

Problems of  bondage ,rural labour,migration.

(iii) Industrialization and Urbanisation in India:

Growth of urban settlements in India.

Evolution of modern industry in India.

Working class: structure, growth, class mobilization.

Slums and deprivation in urban areas.

Informal sector, child labour.

 (iv) Politics and Society:

Nation, democracy and citizenship.

Regionalism and decentralization of power.

Political parties, pressure groups , social and political elite.


(v) Social Movements in Modern India:

Peasants and farmers movements.

Backward classes & Dalit movement.

Women’s movement.

Environmental movements.

Ethnicity and Identity movements.

(vi) Population Dynamics:

Population size, growth, composition and distribution.

Population policy and family planning.

Components of population growth: birth, death, migration.

Emerging issues: ageing, sex ratios, child and infant mortality, reproductive health.

(vii) Challenges of Social Transformation:

Crisis of development: environmental problems and sustainability, displacement,.

Poverty, deprivation and inequalities.

Caste conflicts.

Violence against women.

Ethnic conflicts, religious revivalism, communalism,

Illiteracy and disparities in education.

How to prepare Sociology for UPSC Mains?

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Dr. SS

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