Sociology Syllabus Paper – I

Fundamentals Of Sociology

Sociology – The Discipline:

(a)  Modernity and social changes in Europe and emergence of sociology. (b)  The scope of the subject and comparison with other social sciences. (c)  Sociology and common sense.

Sociology as Science:

(a)  Science, scientific method, and critique. (b)  Major theoretical strands of research methodology. (c)   Positivism and its critique. (d) Fact value and objectivity. (e)   Non- positivist methodologies.

Research Methods and Analysis:

(a)  Qualitative and quantitative methods. (b)  Techniques of data collection. (c) Variables, sampling, hypothesis, reliability and validity.

Sociological Thinkers:

(a)  Karl Marx- Historical materialism, mode of production, alienation, class struggle. (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 variables. (e) Robert K. Merton- Latent and manifest functions, conformity and deviance, reference groups. (f) Mead – Self and identity.

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 and race. (d) Social mobility- open and closed systems, types of mobility, sources and causes of mobility.

Works and Economic Life:

(a) The social organization of work in different types of society- slave society, feudal society, industrial /capitalist society. (b) Formal and informal organization of work. (c) Labour and society.

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.

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 revivalism, fundamentalism.

Systems of Kinship:

(a)  Family, household, marriage. (b)  Types and forms of family. (c) Lineage and descent. (d)  Patriarchy and sexual division of labour. (e) Contemporary trends.

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 change.

Sociology Syllabus Paper – II

Indian Society: Structure And Change

1. Introducing Indian Society:

(i) Perspectives on the study of Indian society:

(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 colonial period. (d)  Social reforms.

Social Structure:

Rural and Agrarian Social Structure:

(a)  The idea of an Indian village and village studies. (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.

Social Changes in India:

(i)  Visions of Social Change in India:

(a)  The idea of development planning and mixed economy. (b)  Constitution, law and social change. (c) Education and social change.

(ii)  Rural and Agrarian transformation in India:

(a)  Programmes of rural development, Community Development Programme, cooperatives, poverty alleviation schemes. (b)  Green revolution and social change. (c) Changing modes of production in Indian agriculture. (d) Problems of rural labor, bondage, migration.

(iii) Industrialization and Urbanisation in India:

(a)  Evolution of modern industry in India. (b)  The growth of urban settlements in India. (c)   Working class: structure, growth, class mobilization. (d)  The informal sector, child labor. (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 power. (d) Secularization.

(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, and distribution. (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 health.

(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 revivalism. (f) Illiteracy and disparities in education.

Reference Books

  • NCERTs
  • Introducing Sociology   
  • Understanding Society
  • Indian Society
  • Social Change and development in India

Sociology Paper 1

  • Haralambos & Holborn Sociology : Themes and Perspectives [Must Read]
  • Sociology : Themes and Perspectives by Haralambos and Heald

Sociology Ppaer 2

  • Indian Sociological Thought by B K Nagla [Must Read]   
  • Modernization of Indian tradition by Yogendra Singh   

Optional Notes – Available under mentorship program



  • Sociology as a subject is helpful in many ways.
  • A good hold over the subject helps you immensely in handling the social issues in General Studies paper.
  • Even in the essay questions, there is certainly at least one topic from the subject of Sociology.
  • Moreover, the interview also has substantial portion involving social issues.
  • No special knowledge or academic background is required for the preparation of Sociology as an optional subject.
  • The basic requirement of high scoring is actually the understanding of different elements of Sociology in right direction and making their use in a well-arranged and well-organised way.
  • In other words, it can be said that Sociology is made up of different elements and all the elements are inter-related with each other in one or other way.

How to Prepare:

  • Part 1 of Sociology is more theoretical and thus you cannot add much from the current affairs.
  • the relation with various field is very simple and there is always harmonious relation between sociology and other sciences and consider all other fields as static in your conclusion and how they are taking sociological methods to put dynamism in their field.
  • Sociology and common sense is nothing but the debate between positivist and critical or non positivist.
  • Sociology as Science: There are mainly three methologies: Positivists, Non- positivist and Critical. The former emphasis on scientific methods : fact, objectivity; later on intellectual method through the application of mind which can never be measured (subjectivity), while non positivist refer to facts collected and applying their mind to come to conclusion (dynamic, values, interpretation).
  • Research Methods and Analysis: Methods can be read from haralambos
  • Sociological Thinkers: Give extra time to understand rather than cramming. You will not be required to put same energy next time. Thinkers are most important and understand their theories thoroughly
  • Stratification and Mobility: One can use marx, weber, parson, kate millet, srinivas, louie Dumont, A, beteille.
  • Politics and Society: Haralambos chapter on power is best for this.
  • Religion and Society: Haralambos

Approach on theories:

  1. Evolutionary
  2. Functional form of religion (Parson)
  3. Marxist
  4. Symbolic
  5. Functional and dysfunctional

This chapter is mainly about change. There are some theories which can be understood easily.In paper 1, maintain flow as functional -> Marxist -> interpretative (hermeneutic) -> critical -> structural functionalist -> phenomenology

  • Part 2 of sociology comprises of sociology of India. There are various dimensions you can add based on current realities in our society.
  • Whatever you write, always remembers that there is nothing wrong in that (except theories). Therefore do not worry about the criticality of your answer
  • Try to put some dynamism in the answer. Never relate to the specific scholars. Add some reports (not necessarily data) or findings.
  • Write the exact nature of social issues and don’t create a rosy picture. But yes, try to give balanced answer in the end.
  • Always follow phenomenological approach. (for ex : sociology of flower : it carry economic value, from political perspective, it can be used as election symbol; from religious perspective, it can be used to worship god; it carries aesthetic value as well; or I used to express love.)
  • Always take the different opinions expressed in the editorials of newspapers or some opinion of our political leaders to show chauvinism with regard to female issues.

Previous Year Question Papers:



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