UPSC Sociology Syllabus (IAS Mains Optional 2019 PDF)

UPSC Sociology Syllabus (UPSC Mains Sociology Notes PDF Hindi and also Books, Sociology Question Papers) : Download UPSC Sociology Syllabus in PDF for the upcoming year updated as per recent official notifications from the Central UPSC Exams Board. Sociology is the scientific study of society, including patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture. It is a social science that uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about social order, acceptance, and change. The overall UPSC Sociology Syllabus for next exam has been officially released recently and we have provided below the updated details on that. With Proper preparation, UPSC Sociology Syllabus can be easily taken over to the perfection.

Important Details on UPSC Sociology Syllabus

Syllabus Scope 2 Sections
UPSC Sociology Syllabus Download
Total Subtopics Thirteen
Preparation Time 700 Hours

Prelude to UPSC Sociology Syllabus

Note First and foremost, you must talk to someone who has taken Sociology as an optional earlier and take their advice. There has been a common misconception among the students that UPSC Sociology Syllabus is a hard nut to crack and its better to leave it as an optional paper. You are absolutely wrong.

Even through the Sociology Syllabus portion in UPSC looks very huge and hard to study, once you start reading through few chapters, you will come to an absolute conclusion that UPSC Sociology Syllabus is one of the most interesting and easiest of all the papers in entire UPSC Syllabus.

UPSC Sociology Question Papers

Below we have provided the exclusive downloads of UPSC Sociology Question Papers. These Sociology Question Papers have been compressed so that the download will be much faster and it will consume less internet data.

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Section A: UPSC Sociology Syllbaus

Fundamentals of Sociology

Sociology – The Discipline

    1. Modernity and social changes in Europe and emergence of sociology.
    2. Scope of the subject and comparison with other social sciences.
    3. Sociology and common sense.

Sociology as Science

    1. Science, scientific method and critique.
    2. Major theoretical strands of research methodology.
    3. Positivism and its critique.
    4. Fact value and objectivity.
    5. Non- positivist methodologies.

Research Methods and Analysis

    1. Qualitative and quantitative methods.
    2. Techniques of data collection.
    3. Variables, sampling, hypothesis, reliability and validity.

Sociological Thinkers

    1. Kar l Marx- Historical materialism, mode of production, alienation, class struggle.
    2. Emile Durkheim- Division of labour, social fact, suicide, religion and society.
    3. Max Weber- Social action, ideal types, authority, bureaucracy, protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism.
    4. Talcolt Parsons- Social system, pattern variables.
    5. Robert K. Merton- Latent and manifest functions, conformity and deviance, reference groups.
    6. Mead – Self and identity.

UPSC Sociology Syllabus (UPSC Mains Sociology Notes PDF and also Books, Sociology Question Papers) FinApp

Stratification and Mobility : UPSC Sociology Syllabus

    1. Concepts- equality, inequality, hierarchy, exclusion, poverty and deprivation.
    2. Theories of social stratification- Structural functionalist theory, Marxist theory, Weberian theory.
    3. Dimensions – Social stratification of class, status groups, gender, ethnicity and race.
    4. Social mobility- open and closed systems, types of mobility, sources and causes of mobility.

Works and Economic Life

      1. Social organization of work in different types of society- slave society, feudal society, industrial /capitalist society.
      2. Formal and informal organization of work.
      3. Labour and society.

Politics and Society : UPSC Sociology Syllabus

    1. Sociological theories of power.
    2. Power elite, bureaucracy, pressure groups, and political parties.
    3. Nation, state, citizenship, democracy, civil society, ideology.
    4. Protest, agitation, social movements, collective action, revolution.

Religion and Society : UPSC Sociology Syllabus

      1. Sociological theories of religion.
      2. Types of religious practices: animism, monism, pluralism, sects, cults.
      3. Religion in modern society: religion and science, secularization, religious revivalism, fundamentalism.

Systems of Kinship : UPSC Sociology Syllabus

      1. Family, household, marriage.
      2. Types and forms of family.
      3. Lineage and descent.
      4. Patriarchy and sexual division oflabour.
      5. Contemporary trends.

Social Change in Modern Society

    1. Sociological theories of social change.
    2. Development and dependency.
    3. Agents of social change.
    4. Education and social change.
    5. Science, technology and social change.

Section B: UPSC Sociology Syllabus


Introducing Indian Society

(i) Perspectives on the study of Indian society:

      1. Indology (GS. Ghurye).
      2. Structural functionalism (M N Srinivas).
      3. Marxist sociology (A R Desai).

(ii) Impact of colonial rule on Indian society :

    1. Social background of Indian nationalism.
    2. Modernization of Indian tradition.
    3. Protests and movements during the colonial period.
    4. Social reforms.

Social Structure

(i) Rural and Agrarian Social Strueture

        1. The idea of Indian village and village studies.
        2. Agrarian social structure – evolution of land tenure system, land reforms.


Caste System

      1. Perspectives on the study of caste systems: GS Ghurye, M N Srinivas, Louis Dumont, Andre Beteille.
      2. Features of caste system.
      3. Untouchability – forms and perspectives.

(iii) Tribal communities in India:

      1. Definitional problems.
      2. Geographical spread.
      3. Colonial policies and tribes.
      4. Issues of integration and autonomy.

(iv) Social Classes in India:

      1. Agrarian class structure.
      2. Industrial class structure.
      3. Middle classes in India.

(v) Systems of Kinship in India:

        1. Lineage and descent in India.
        2. Types of kinship systems.
        3. Family and marriage in India.
        4. Household dimensions of the family.

(vi) Religion and Society:

    1. Religious communities in India.
    2. Problems of religious minorities.

Social Changes in India : UPSC Sociology Syllabus

    1. (i) Visions of Social Change in India:

      1. Idea of development planning and mixed economy.
      2. Constitution, law and social change.
      3. Education and social change.

(ii) Rural and Agrarian transformation in India:

      1. Programmes of rural development, Community Development Programme, cooperatives, poverty alleviation schemes.
      2. Green revolution and social change.
      3. Changing modes of production in Indian agriculture .
      4. Problems of rural labour, bondage,migration.

(iii) Industrialization and Urbanisation in India:

      1. Evolution of modern industry in India.
      2. Growth of urban settlements in India.
      3. Working class: structure, growth, class mobilization.
      4. Informal sector, child labour.
      5. Slums and deprivation in urban areas.

(iv) Politics and Society:

      1. Nation, democracy and citizenship.
      2. Political parties, pressure groups , social and political elite.
      3. Regionalism and decentralization of power.
      4. Secularization

(v) Social Movements in Modern India:

      1. Peasants and farmers movements.
      2. Women’s movement.
      3. Backward classes & Dalit movement.
      4. Environmental movements.
      5. Ethnicity and Identity movements.

(vi) Population Dynamics:

      1. Population size, growth, composition and distribution.
      2. Components of population growth: birth, death, migration.
      3. Population policy and family planning.
      4. Emerging issues: ageing, sex ratios, child and infant mortality, reproductive health.

(vii) Challenges of Social Transformation:

    1. Crisis of development: displacement, environmental problems and sustainability.
    2. Poverty, deprivation and inequalities.
    3. Violence against women.
    4. Caste conflicts.
    5. Ethnic conflicts, communalism, religious revivalism.
    6. Illiteracy and disparities in education.

Also See Syllabus Details of Other Courses like:

UPSC Anthropology Syllabus UPSC Psychology Syllabus
GATE AE Syllabus CFA Level 1 Syllabus
FRM Level 1 Syllabus CS Professional Syllabus
UPSC Geography Syllabus UPSC Botany Syllabus
UPSC Zoology Syllabus UPSC Statistics Syllabus
UPSC Maths Syllabus UPSC Physics Syllabus

Conclusion on UPSC Mains Sociology Syllabus

It is always said that the wise men words are often neglected. However, we would like to again stress the fact that the Sociology Syllabus in UPSC is one of the most important and crucial things that has to be properly taken care of.

Not just for examination point of view, Sociology Syllabus in UPSC helps you in the overal development to become a good responsible officer who will play a crucial role in the development of the country in the decades to come.

Sociology can be a good optional if you are extremely brilliant at it but i do have a few problems. Sociologyis not going to help an ias in any possible way.

There has been a news circulating that, UPSC may remove optionals in coming years.mind you its not a rumor but actual happening in near future.

If readers have any further questions on UPSC Sociology Syllabus, you can drop us a mail or even post your question below on our comments section.