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Syllabus of Sociology Paper - I


FUNDAMENTALS OF SOCIOLOGY

  1. Sociology - The Discipline:
    (a) Modernity and social changes in Europe and emergence of Sociology.
    (b) Scope of the subject and comparison with other social sciences.
    (c) Sociology and common sense.
  2. 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.
  3. Research Methods and Analysis:
    (a) Qualitative and quantitative methods.
    (b) Techniques of data collection.
    (c) Variables, sampling, hypothesis, reliability, and validity.
  4. Sociological Thinkers:
    (a) Karl Marx - Historical materialism, mode of production, alienation, class struggle. 
    (b) Emile Durkhteim - 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Works and Economic Life:
    (a) 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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) Contem porary trends.
  10. 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.

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Syllabus of Sociology Paper - II


INDIAN SOCIETY: STRUCTURE AND CHANGE

A. Introducing Indian Society:

  1. Perspectives on the Study of Indian Society:
    (a) Indology (G.S. Ghure). 
    (b) Structural functionalism (M. N. Srinivas). 
    (c) Marxist sociology (A. R. Desai).
  2. 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.

B. Social Structure:

  1. Rural and Agrarian Social Structure:
    (a) The idea of Indian village and village studies
    (b) Agrarian social structure— evolution of land tenure system, land reforms.
  2. Caste System: 
    (a) Perspectives on the study of caste systems: G. S. Ghurye, M. N. Srinivas, Louis Dumont, Andre Beteille.
    (b) Features of caste system.
    (c) Untouchability-forms and perspectives
  3. Tribal Communities in India: 
    (a) Definitional problems.
    (b) Geographical spread.
    (c) Colonial policies and tribes.
    (d) Issues of integration and autonomy. 
  4. Social Classes in India:
    (a) Agrarian class structure.
    (b) Industrial class structure.
    (c) Middle classes in India.
  5. 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.
  6. Religion and Society:
    (a) Religious communities in India.
    (b) Problems of religious minorities.

C. Social Changes in India:

  1. Visions of Social Change in India:
    (a) Idea of development planning and mixed economy.
    (b) Constitution, law, and social change.
    (c) Education and social change.
  2. 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 labour, bondage, migration.
  3. Industrialization and Urbanisation in India:
    (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.
    (e) Slums and deprivation in urban areas.
  4. 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. 
  5. Social Movements in Modern India:
    (a) Peasants and farmers' movements.
    (b) Women’s movement.
    (c) Backward classes & Dalit movements.
    (d) Environmental movements.
    (e) Ethnicity and Identity movements.
  6. Population Dynamics:
    Population size, growth, composition and distribution.
    Components of population growth: birth, death, migration.
    Population Policy and family planning.
    Emerging issues: ageing, sex ratios, child and infant mortality, reproductive health.
  7. 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. 

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Previous Year UPSC Questions

2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
2021 2020 2019 2018
2017

Paper-1


SECTION ‘A’

  1. Answer the following:
    a). Europe was the first and the only place where modernity emerged. Comment.
    b). Do you think ethnomethodology helps us in getting reliable and valid data? Justify your answer.
    c). Discuss the challenges involved in collecting data through census method.
    d). Explain whether Durkheim's theory of Division of Labour is relevant in the present-day context.
    e). Critically examine Max Weber's theory of Social Stratification.
  2. Answer the following:
    a). From the viewpoint of growing importance of multidisciplinary, how do you relate sociology to other social sciences?
    b). How far are sociologists justified in using a positivist approach to understand social reality? Explain with suitable illustrations.
    c). How is sociology related to common sense?
  3. Answer the following:
    a). How do qualitative and quantitative methods supplement each other in sociological enquiry?
    b). Critically examine the dialectics involved in each mode of production as propounded by Karl Marx.
    c). Do you agree with Max Weber's idea that bureaucracy has the potential to become an iron cage? Justify your answer.
  4. Answer the following:
    a). Explain the concept of social mobility. Describe with suitable illustrations how education and social mobility are related to each other.
    b). How has the idea of Work from Home' forced us to redefine the formal and informal organisation of work?
    c). With suitable examples, explain how conformity and deviance coexist in a society as proposed by R.K. Merton.

SECTION ‘B’

  1. Answer the following:
    a). Explain the emerging challenges in establishing gender equality in the informal sector.
    b). Critically examine the relevance of Vilfredo Pareto's theory of Circulation of Elites in the present scenario.
    c). Critically compare the views of E.B. Tylor and Max Muller on Religion.
    d). What is cult? Explain the growth of cults in the contemporary world.
    e). Do you think Talcott Parsons gave an adequate theory of social change? Justify your answer.
  2. Answer the following:
    a). Elucidate the main problems and challenges faced by the migrant labourers in the recent 'Lockdown period'.
    b). Explain how political parties and pressure groups are dialectically related to each other in terms of achieving their goals.
    c). Give your comments on the growth of religious revivalism in the present-day context.
  3. Answer the following:
    a). Explain how the pattern of patriarchy is being altered in a family and at the workplace in the present context.
    b). Critically examine the contribution of dependency theories in understanding the present global scenario.
    c). Explain the growing salience of ethnicity in the contemporary world with illustrations.
  4. Answer the following:
    a). Discuss the changing nature of kinship relations in the contemporary world.
    b). Describe the role of Science and Technology in enabling us to face the challenges triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
    c). Highlight the roles and functions of civil society in a democratic system.

Paper-2


SECTION ‘A’

  1. Answer the following:
    a). Caste system studies in India have been dominated by the "book-view" initially, how did the entry of "field-view" bring about a balance in the study of Indian caste system? Discuss.
    b). What does Dr. B. R. Ambedkar mean by the concept of “Annihilation of caste"?
    c). Discuss different forms of kinship system in India.
    d). Critically examine briefly the phrase "Little 'Republics” as used to denote India's villages.
    e). Caste-like formations are present in Non-Hindu religious communities as well. Discuss with examples.
  2. Answer the following:
    a). What is identity politics? Discuss the main trends in Dalit movements in India.
    b). Is Indian society moving from "Hierarchy" towards "differentiation"? Illustrate your answer with suitable examples.
    c). Discuss the salient features of 'new middle class' in India.
  3. Answer the following:
    a). Discuss in detail the major contribution of Prof. Yogendra Singh in theorizing India's modernization.
    b). Examine the factors responsible for the rural unrest in contemporary India.
    c). Discuss the changing dimensions of family structure in urban India.
  4. Answer the following:
    a). What are the sociological reasons and implication of “reverse migration" during the recent pandemic in India?
    b). Discuss the main features of the debate between G. S. Ghurye and V. Elwin on tribal development.
    c). What are the various forms of untouchability in India? Critically examine.

SECTION ‘B’

  1. Answer the following:
    a). Analyze the idea of developmental planning in India.
    b). Comment on the role of co-operatives in rural development.
    c). Urban slums are sites of social exclusion - explain.
    d). Does regionalism essentially lead to decentralization of power? Substantiate your answer with relevant examples.
    e). Discuss the role of technology in agrarian change in India.
  2. Answer the following:
    a). Explain the sociological significance of the New Education Policy and its thrust on vocationalization and skill development.
    b). Is 'ageing an emerging issue in Indian society? Discuss the major problems of the old age people in India.
    c). Underline the socio-cultural factors) responsible for India's skewed sex-ratio.
  3. Answer the following:
    a). The problem of displacement is inherent in the idea of development. Analyze the statement critically.
    b). Rising 'ethnocentricism' is leading to conflict in our society. Assess this statement with appropriate reasons.
    c). Is social democracy a precondition for political democracy? Comment.
  4. Answer the following:
    a). Discuss the role of social media in communal polarization. Suggest ways to combat it.
    b). Urban settlements in India tend to replicate its rural caste-kinship imprints. Discuss the main reasons.
    c). Does "economic empowerment" automatically bring about "substantive empowerment" for women? Briefly describe the main issues in women empowerment in India.

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