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Sociology Optional Syllabus: UPSC

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Sociology Optional Syllabus: The UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam is a prestigious examination consisting of three stages: Prelims, Mains, and Interview. Among the 48 optional subjects available for the Mains Exam, Sociology stands out as a popular choice. This optional subject comprises two papers, Paper 1 and Paper 2, each carrying 250 marks. Paper 1 delves into the Fundamentals of Sociology, while Paper 2 focuses on Indian Society: Structure and Change.

This article provides an in-depth exploration of the UPSC Sociology optional syllabus for both papers, offers valuable tips on how to effectively prepare for this subject, and emphasizes the significance of Sociology as an optional subject in the Civil Services Mains Exam.

Why Sociology is Your Winning Choice for UPSC Optional Subject?

Selecting Sociology as your optional subject for the UPSC Mains exam holds numerous advantages. It equips you with a deep understanding of social structures, cultural dynamics, and societal issues, all of which are highly relevant to administrative roles. Sociology’s interdisciplinary approach broadens your knowledge base, enabling you to analyze complex social phenomena from multiple perspectives. Moreover, it enhances analytical and critical thinking skills, which are invaluable for essay writing, answer formulation, and interviews. Sociology’s well-structured syllabus covers a wide range of topics, making preparation more manageable, and abundant study materials are readily available.

Importantly, Sociology is known for its scoring potential in the UPSC exam, offering an opportunity to significantly boost your overall score. In a rapidly evolving world, the insights gained from Sociology are indispensable for addressing contemporary issues and fostering a successful career in the civil services.

Explore our special batch for UPSC Sociology optional. We offer a focused program with clear concepts, regular assessments, and personal support to help you succeed in this tough exam. Click here for more details.

UPSC Sociology Syllabus

UPSC Sociology Optional Syllabus for Paper 1:

This following table provides a clear overview of the topics covered in UPSC Sociology Paper 1 syllabus

Sociology Syllabus Paper- 1


Sociology- The Discipline

  • Modernity and social changes in Europe.
  • Scope of the subject and its comparison
  • Sociology and common sense
Sociology as Science
  • Science, scientific method, and critique.
  • Major theoretical strands of research methodology
  • Positivism and its critique
  • Fact value and objectivity
  • Non-positivist methodologies

Research Methods &Analysis

  • Qualitative and quantitative methods
  • Techniques of data collection
  • Variables, sampling, hypothesis, reliability, validity.

Sociological Thinkers

  • Karl Marx— Historical materialism, class struggle.
  • Emile— Division of labour, religion, social fact.
  • Max Weber – Social action, authority, ideal types.
  • Tal colt Parsons – Social system, pattern variables.
  • Robert K. Merton – Latent and manifest functions
  • Mead – Self and identity

Stratification and Mobility

  • Concepts: equality, inequality, hierarchy, poverty
  • Theories of social stratification
  • Dimensions of social stratification
  • Social mobility and its sources

Works & Economic Life

  • Social organization of work in different societies                         
  • Formal and informal organization of work.
  • Labour and its role in society      

Politics & Society

  • Sociological theories of power- Power elite, bureaucracy, pressure groups
  • Nation, state, citizenship, democracy, ideology.
  • Protest, agitation, social.

Religion & Society

  • Sociological theories of religion
  • Types of religious practices
  • Religion in modern society

Systems of Kinship

  • Family, household, marriage
  • Types and forms of family
  • Lineage & descent
  • Patriarchy & sexual division of labor
  • Contemporary trends

Social Change in Modern Society

  • Sociological theories of social change
  • Development and dependency
  • Agents of social change
  • Education and social change
  • Science, technology, and social change

UPSC Sociology Optional Syllabus for Paper 2:

UPSC Sociology Syllabus Paper- 2 Topics

Introducing Indian Society

  • Perspectives on the Study of Indian
  • Society Impact of colonial rule on Indian society
Social Structure
  • Rural and Agrarian Social
  • Caste System.
  • Tribal Communities in India.
  • Social Classes in India
  • Systems of Kinship in Religion and Society
Social Changes in India
  • Visions of Social Change in India.
  • Rural and Agrarian Transformation in India
  • Industrialisation and Urbanization in India
  • Politics and Society
  • Social Movements in Modern India
  • Population Dynamics
  • Challenges of Social Transformation

The UPSC Sociology Syllabus for Paper 2, This information is sourced from the official website. You can download the PDF for detailed information.

Sociology Optional: UPSC Preparation Strategy

  1. Seek Expert Guidance: Since Sociology encompasses various complex theories, it’s crucial to seek external guidance if you lack a mentor or senior to assist you. Expert guidance can provide clarity and direction in navigating this subject.
  2. Analyze the Syllabus and Create a Plan: Start by dissecting the UPSC Sociology Optional Syllabus into manageable sections. Craft a structured study plan that ensures comprehensive coverage of all topics, maintaining organization and syllabus completion.
  3. Build a Strong Foundation: Before delving into advanced sociological topics, establish a robust understanding of fundamental concepts and theories. Begin with foundational theories by eminent sociologists like Max Weber, Emile Durkheim, and Karl Marx.
  4. Start with NCERTs: Begin with Class XI and XII NCERT textbooks to establish a strong foundation in sociology.
  5. Review Previous Year Papers: Examine previous year question papers to gain insights into the types of questions asked in the exam.
  6. Incorporate Current Affairs: Recognize that sociology intertwines with current affairs. Stay updated with the latest news and link it to your sociological studies. This practice will enhance your comprehension of the subject and bolster your exam performance.
  7. Full-Length Tests: To master time management, it’s essential to practice writing full-length tests within the allotted 3-hour timeframe. Simulate exam conditions to enhance your test-taking skills


This article has provided you with valuable insights into the Sociology Optional Syllabus. By carefully examining the topics outlined in the syllabus, you can gain a solid understanding of what to focus on when preparing for the sociology optional subject. Success in this challenging exam is attainable through dedicated study and consistent practice. To further bolster your preparation, consider enrolling in our UPSC Online Coaching program, which offers comprehensive guidance and support. With access to expert tutors and a structured curriculum, you can enhance your knowledge and skills, increasing your chances of achieving your UPSC goals.

If you have any questions regarding your UPSC preparation, feel free to reach out to us. 

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All About UPSC CSE Exam Preparation

Exam Notification

UPSC CSE Calendar 2024

  • Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination, 2024 & Indian Forest Service (Preliminary) Examination, 2024 through CS(P) Examination 2023 26 May 2024

Download UPSC CSE Notification 2024: Click here

Exam Pattern

UPSC Syllabus

UPSC Prelims Syllabus

UPSC Mains Syllabus

Previous Papers

YearPrelims-GSPrelims-CSATMains-GS 1Mains-GS 2Mains-GS 3Mains-GS 4Mains-EssayMains-EnglishMains-Hindi

Prelims Previous Years Papers – Subject & Year Wise

PRE SUBJECT201820172016201520142013
Science & Technology201820172016201520142013
Modern India201820172016201520142013
Medieval India201820172016201520142013

Mains Previous Years Papers – Subject & Year Wise

MAINS SUBEJECT201820172016201520142013
Internal Security201820172016201520142013
Ethics – I201820172016201520142013
Ethics – II (Case Studies)201820172016201520142013
Environment and Ecology201820172016201520142013
Disaster Management201820172016201520142013
Ancient History and Art & Culture201820172016201520142013
Agriculture201820172016No Question20142013
Indian Society2018201720162015 20142013

Cut Off Marks

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Teaching Methodology:

The Prayas India- Exam आसान है!

LEARN: Learning is the first stage of any exam preparation. The Prayas India provides the simplified learning approach. It believes in technology and helps the aspirants for smart preparation.
PRACTICE: “Practice makes a man perfect”. After each and every topic, the aspirants need to practice on Mock Question Papers and Previous Years Papers. The Prayas India helps to understand the Exam Pattern and practice on exam oriented pattern.
ANALYZE: The last and the most important part is giving the test and analysing the performance. The Prayas India provides All India level real time test platform where an aspirant can track themselves with performance and progress.

Why the Prayas ?

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We are a team of highly experienced mentors. The Research & Development Team at Prayas continuously works hard for all our students.

Teaching Methodogy

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The Prayas study material is extremely comprehensive and very well designed. It is regularly updated by our Research & Development team.

Time Table

It is imperative to be disciplined to crack competitive exams. Our mentors help aspirants in defining their study time table and strategy.

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Progress Tracker

We provide individual progress tracker to every aspirant. It helps the aspirant complete syllabus in defined time frame and builds confidence.

Foundation Support

We provide special basic lectures to beginners. Easy-to-understand explanation of important concepts helps them build a strong base.

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We connect one-on-one with students who require support from us in their learning. Mentors are always available & ready for support.

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