Sociology Optional Program

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What is Sociology?

Sociology is the study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior. Sociologists investigate the structure of groups, organizations, and societies, and how people interact within these contexts. Since all human behavior is social, the subject matter of sociology ranges from the intimate family to the hostile mob; from organized crime to religious cults; from the divisions of race, gender and social class to the shared beliefs of a common culture; and from the sociology of work to the sociology of sports. In fact, few fields have such broad scope and relevance for research, theory, and application of knowledge.


What factors should you consider when selecting your UPSC Mains optional subject?

We recommend the following procedure:

  1. Have a look at the previous year UPSC CSE Mains question papers for the optional subjects you’re interested in (at least three years).
  2. Go through the UPSC syllabus of that respective subject as well.
  3. See whether you are comfortable with the subject matter.
  4. Estimate the time you might need for comprehensive coverage of the syllabus.
  5. Once you’ve identified your optional, assess whether you will be able to find study materials (online/offline).
  6. Choose that subject as your optional subject.

Why to choose Sociology?

Considering the above-mentioned aspects, Sociology as an optional subject is an excellent choice for the UPSC candidates.

It is a common choice among aspirants because a civil servant must deal with many aspects of the society, and knowledge and working of the society would be highly beneficial for them in their daily work.

So a committed and motivated aspirant can easily complete his/her UPSC journey with Sociology.

The subject matter of Sociology overlaps with General Studies Paper 1 in UPSC Mains (Indian Society) and it is also helpful for General Studies Paper 2, 3 and Essay paper. It is one subject which has its relevance in all stages of CSE.

Questions in Sociology focus on contemporary issues in the society as much as it emphasizes on traditional core concepts. For instance, in 2018 mains examination, questions were based on the emerging issues like ‘Me too’ Movement, Triple Talaq, Social media, migration, US Visa issue, farmer indebtedness and related suicides etc. These topics may not be covered in academic books on Sociology. That is why we recommend you the IASBYHEART Sociology Optional course.

Key Features of IASBYHEART Sociology Optional course:

  • Quality teaching with emphasis on conceptual clarity.
  • Complete coverage of the curriculum.
  • Well-designed and thoroughly examined study resources.
  • Organised approach to answer writing with logical consistency.
  • Experienced Faculty and Super Affordable fees


Course Syllabus:

Paper – I

1. Sociology – The Discipline
2. Sociology as Science
3. Research Methods and Analysis
4. Sociological Thinkers
5. Stratification and Mobility 6.Works and Economic Life
7. Politics and Society
8. Religion and Society
9. Systems of Kinship
10. Social Change in Modern Society

Paper – II


A. Introducing Indian Society:
(i) Perspectives on the study of Indian society
(ii) Impact of colonial rule on Indian society

B. Social Structure:
(i) Rural and Agrarian Social Structure
(ii) Caste System
(iii) Tribal communities in India
(iv) Social Classes in India
(v) Systems of Kinship in India
(vi) Religion and Society

C. Social Changes in India:
(i) Visions of Social Change in India
(ii) Rural and Agrarian transformation in India
(iii) Industrialization and Urbanisation in India
(iv) Politics and Society
(v) Social Movements in Modern India
(vi) Population Dynamics
(vii) Challenges of Social Transformation


Recommended Booklist for Sociology


    1. Haralambos & Holborn Sociology: Themes And Perspectives- Haralambos
    2. Sociology – Anthony Giddens
    3. Sociological Theory – George Ritzer
    4. Sociological Thought – Francis Abraham, John Henry Morgan
    5. Political Theory – O P Gauba
    6. Essential Sociology- Nitin Sangwan


    1. Indian Society, NCERT Class 12
    2. Society In India: Concepts, Theories And Recent Trends – Ram Ahuja
    3. Social Change In Modern India – M. N. SRINIVAS
    4. Modernization Of Indian Tradition – Yogendra Singh
    5. Society In India: Concepts, Theories And Recent Trends – Ram Ahuja
    6. Social Problems In India – Ram Ahuja
    7. Persistence and Change in Tribal India – M.V. Rao

While you can study Sociology as an optional on your own, having proper guidance will help you save time and energy. Experts who have devoted almost their entire lives teaching Sociology will teach you in a way that will help you understand new concepts and clear this exam with flying colours.



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Sociology Optional Program
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