Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Booklist for Sociology

Sociology! The only subject that I have loved most after Physics probably beacuse both give a lot of food for thought.I did two courses of Sociology in college as part of my humanities but enjoyed only one of them, Industrial sociology by Amman Madan, beacuse of his interactive class sessions.
For aspirants of UPSC, it is a moderately popular subject.
I recommend it as an optional for UPSC only to those who have the ability to think critically beyond the obvious and model abstractions, especially in paper-I. Not that those who consider themselves challenged in this respect cannot prepare for this optional, but those who can will have a decisive advantage. Study Material for paper-II is not found easily, and the understanding of key concepts of Paper-I and ability to apply them to real life situations comes in handy.
Here's my recommended Booklist for Socio:-
1)Haralambos - The Bible. (Though this book seems easy, do not not take it lightly.You will find yourself going back to it again and again. Make clever use of real life studies in the book to substantiate your answers)
2) Mahapatra ( Vajiram) Sir's Class notes
3) Sociological Thory by Ritzer. (hard to find but gives a good account of theories)

Caution: - Do not study Bottomore (Useless). Refer to Ignou Material ( MSO notes) for only topics that you can't find in above.

For Paper-II, I have edited the booklist provided here.

A. Introducing Indian Society:
(i) Perspectives on the study of Indian society : Indian Sociological Thought. from B. K. Nagla

(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. Mahaptra Sir's Notes
(b) Modernization of Indian tradition. Modernization of Indian tradition - Yogenndra Singh,Handbook of Indian Socio by Veena Das
(c) Protests and movements during the colonial period. Protests and movements during the colonial period A R Desai
(d) Social reforms Spectrum's Indian

B. Social Structure:

(i) Rural and Agrarian Social Structure:

(a) The idea of Indian village and village studies- IGNOU ,Handbook of Indian Socio by Veena Das
(b) Agrarian social structure – evolution of land tenure system, land reforms. Praveen Kishore (Inspiration's) study material

(ii) Caste System:(a) Perspectives on the study of caste systems: GS Ghurye, M N Srinivas, Louis Dumont, Andre Beteille. – Indian Sociological Thought. from B. K. Nagla
(b) Features of caste system. ( Summarize the perspectives from previous topic)
(c) Untouchability – forms and perspectives Praveen Kishore (Inspiration's) study material

(iii) Tribal communities in India: Indian Society & Culture – Nadeem Husnain

(a) Definitional problems. Indian Social System – Ram Ahuja
(b) Geographical spread.
(c) Colonial policies and tribes.
(d) Issues of integration and autonomy.

(iv) Social Classes in India: – IGNOU
(a) Agrarian class structure.
(b) Industrial class structure.
(c) Middle classes in India.

(v) Systems of Kinship in India: - IGNOU
(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: Praveen Kishore (Inspiration's) study material
(a) Religious communities in India.

(b) Problems of religious minorities.

C. Social Changes in India:
(i) Visions of Social Change in India:
(a) Idea of development planning and mixed economy. – Contemporary India – Neera Chandhoke
(b) Constitution, law and social change. – Social Change in India – Yogendra Singh,Modernization of Indian tradition - Yogenndra Singh
(c) Education and social change. – IGNOU , ESO – 14, – Social Change in India – Yogendra Singh,Modernization of Indian tradition - Yogendra Singh
(ii) Rural and Agrarian transformation in India:
(a) Programmes of rural development, Community Development Programme, cooperatives, poverty alleviation schemes - Praveen Kishore (Inspiration's) study material
(b) Green revolution and social change - Praveen Kishore (Inspiration's) study material
(c) Changing modes of production in Indian agriculture - Paper by Hamza Alavi
(d) Problems of rural labour, bondage, migration. IGNOU , MSO – 14

(iii) Industrialization and Urbanisation in India: IGNOU
(a) Evolution of modern industry in India.
(b) Growth of urban settlements in India.
(c) Working class: structure, growth, class mobilization.
(d) Informal sector, child labour Handbook of Indian Socio by Veena Das
(e) Slums and deprivation in urban areas. IGNOU

(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: Social Movements In India by Ghanshyam Shah
(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: Social Demography : Asha Bhede & Kanitkar
(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. : IGNOU (ESO – 16 )
(vii) Challenges of Social Transformation:
(a) Crisis of development: displacement, environmental problems and sustainability.
(b) Poverty, deprivation and inequalities.
(c) Violence against women. Women in India – Neera Desai
(d) Caste conflicts. Politics in India : Sudipta Kaviraj
(e) Ethnic conflicts, communalism, religious revivalism. IGNOU (ESO – 16 )
(f) Illiteracy and disparities in education. Handbook of Indian Socio by Veena Das

A book on National & Social Issues by Smarak Swain, IRS is highly recommended for topics against which I have not mentioned any book and also to understand how to make notes in Sociology.It also contains excellent write-ups on topics on which I have already recommended some book.
Caution: - Stick strictly to syllabus while referrring to any of the book above, and preferably make your own notes ( detailed or short) to save time during revision.

Tips: Pick up a topic, scan all sources, collate them logically to make your own notes. You should do this atleast for paper-II in sociology, though it works well for all subjects, atleast for me.


  1. Sir...I am having a lot of difficulty in understanding how to go about making notes for sociology. Elaborate? Brief? what to include, what to leave?!
    I would really like to know how you made your notes.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. thankx a bunch!u hv done a great job here!
    it would be evn better if you could upload some of your notes..would help us newbies a lot

  4. was thinking of getting crackias material for socio..would you suggest praveen kishore's over it?
    heard a lot abt upendra , but din find his notes too gud.
    do send in a comment at d earliest..:)..m writing mains dis yr n hv a long way 2 go wit d prepz..

    1. Yes..upendra sir notes is not so useful..itdont give clear understanding.

  5. @maya...if it was humanely possible i would have uploaded my notes..but it ain't so...
    have heard crackias material is also good...i have suggested praveen kishore's material only because i have gone through it...it is not good in all the topics but only in topics i have suggested here ( including paper-1 theory part)..
    u r right abt upendra...his notes are waste of time nd money...

  6. Sir,your paper 2 book list is very very long and I do not have much time.....I went throught society in India by Ram Ahuja and could not find starting topics in it....do you think IGNOU notes would be enough along with Mahapatra's class room notes.....

    The thing is that I hate reading from classroom notes...these are very much unorganized....could you please help....?

    Waiting for you reply...

  7. @anonymous dude u got me all wrong...u don't have to read whole books from above...u have to read only those chapters/sections relevant to you...that way it won't take much time...still as a bare minimum booklist u must go through these
    Mahapatra notes
    Modernization of Indian tradition - Yogenndra Singh,Handbook of Indian Socio by Veena Das
    National & Social Issues by Smarak Swain, IRS
    Social Movements In India by Ghanshyam Shah

  8. hi sir, which book of Indology by GS. Ghurye
    (b) Structural functionalism (M N Srinivas).
    (c) Marxist sociology ( A R Desai).
    please tell me the name of books.

  9. Indian Sociological Thought. from B. K. Nagla

  10. Dear Sir,
    I have selected Anthropology as my 2nd optional. Sir pls help on this if you have any frd who has cracked the exam with Anthropology.

    many thx

  11. Thanks a lot for the lifesaving blog!

  12. uias notes r t best 4 paper-1

  13. Sir,
    I tried procuring ignou course material online but it's only selectively available. could you please tell me where in delhi you got your ignou material from? i'll really appreciate your help.

  14. they r avaliable at jawahar book depot,ber sarai

  15. Sir,i have recently joined the coching for sociology. i want to ask that wat strategy should be followed to understnd sociology better..??? Mahapaatra Sir notes are sufficient? Should I make my seperate notes from class notes+ignou+books?? Plz reply

    Prateek Mathur

  16. sir, i am making my own notes for all the topics...referring to mahapatra sir notes and ignou material and internet ! but this is taking too much of time...i feel this making notes shd hav been completed much before prelims...so dat i cd only learn d notes n do value addition...
    but i ws stuck in my job then!

    but what to do now? shd i directly learn frm d notes n keep revising it? there re so many viewpoints n perspectives even in paper 2....not getting a coherent strategy ! :(

  17. Nice work sir thank you...this is of great help to me..

  18. Hi Rajiv,

    Could you please let me know where did you get IGNOU MSO 14 notes? I bought the IGNOU Socio notes for MA course from Jawahar book store in Ber Sarai but the set does not contain MSO 14 neither they have it.


  19. hello sir! I'm preparing for UPSC mains 2012 with Pol.Sc.and Sociology as optional.Pol.Sc. is my PhD subject(JNU)and I'm reading sociology for the first time.I know this much that it overlaps a lot with Pol.Sc. because I've attended many seminars and conferences with common topics for both and have gone through some books like Ghanshyam Shah and Neera Chandoke which are common to both.I dont have the inclination and time for coaching in sociology for Mains.I want to ask you whether its imperative to go for coaching in sociology in my case? Can you suggest me some tips and ways for preparation sociology and crack the exam with good score?

  20. good that u hav pl. Sci. Background. Get hold of the books i mention
    ed and coaching notes of mahapatra sir.u won't need coaching. Make notes, if u can!


  22. Thank you so much for your help .... I am following your pub admin tips to the T ... in regards with socio, could you pls tell me are you referring to mahapatra's handwritten class notes or the printed study material.

  23. sir, you have written praveen kishore's maerial is good for theory part of paper 1....please elaborate.

    also i have joined his test series he has suggested to follow his study material only...which seems to be bulky but comprehensive, as it is unit wise and boast of covering a number of famous books.

    kindly help...as only 90 days remain for the game

  24. hello sir,

    could you please let me know about book Sociology of Indian Society by C.N. Shankar Rao for paper 2? Does it covers whole syllabus and can i refer it?


  25. dear sir i am a for civil services preparation and has opted sociology as one of my optional..i had never studied the subject academically and due to financial trouble i cnt afford coaching..kindly guide me wid the list of book through which i cn start from the scratch and get introductory of the subject.thank you

  26. I think that is what my whole post is about!Go thorough it again!

  27. is it really necessary to go for coaching 4 sociology???please guide sir...

  28. nice books....

  29. HI ,

    I have a confusion - at many places on net some writer of Blog have Refered to read Haralombos and Halborn - Though the Book availible in the Market is Haralambos and Heald ( Oxford Publication ) 7 edition .... In the above blog you have only it as haralambos ...please advice which one of the two are reffreing to..... I have Haralambos and Heald ( Oxford Publication ) 7 edition is it ok or I buy the other mentioned too.

    by email id syedahmerzia1@gmail.com

  30. Sir could you please provide the sociology notes of Kshitij Tyagi for Paper 2....

  31. This comment has been removed by the author.

  32. Sir do we need to take coaching for sociology or can we prepare by ourself

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  35. Thanks a lot for the lifesaving blog.............

  36. Thank you so much for your help .... I am following your pub admin tips to the T ... in regards with socio, could you pls tell me are you referring to mahapatra's handwritten class notes or the printed study material.

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