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UPSC Sociology Syllabus 2024 for Paper 1 & Paper 2

UPSC Sociology Syllabus 2024 for Paper 1 & Paper 2

Edited By Soujanya K | Updated on Feb 14, 2024 05:49 PM IST | #UPSC CSE

Candidates attempting the UPSC Sociology optional in the civil services exam are advised to acquaint themselves with the IAS Sociology 2024 Syllabus. The UPSC sociology syllabus pdf download can be done on the official UPSC website- The sociology syllabus contains a list of important topics that will be covered in the IAS exam.
Download - IAS Sociology Syllabus 2024 pdf

The UPSC CSE Syllabus and the official Civil services exam pattern can help aspirants prepare a solid preparation strategy. Candidates are encouraged to consult the UPSC Sociology syllabus and account for the topics in the syllabus while drafting a preparation strategy for the IAS exam.

Sociology as a subject is very important for UPSC Exam Preparation because there is an overlap between the topics covered in the IAS Sociology 2024 Syllabus and the topics covered in the general studies paper. This makes sociology a valuable optional subject to choose because candidates can study more efficiently due to the overlap of topics from the UPSC Sociology Syllabus. Candidates are encouraged to download the UPSC sociology optional syllabus pdf and go through the material below for information regarding the IAS Sociology Syllabus.

UPSC Sociology Syllabus 2024 (Paper 1 & 2)

It is important for candidates preparing for Sociology as an optional subject must go through the Sociology Optional Syllabus for IAS 2024. UPSC Sociology syllabus for IAS is released separately for both the CSE prelims and the mains. For more details, candidates can consult the IAS Sociology Syllabus in the table below.

UPSC Sociology Optional Syllabus for Paper I



Sociology - The Discipline

  • Scope of the subject and comparison with other social sciences.

  • Modernity and social changes in Europe and emergence of Sociology.

  • Sociology and common sense.

Research Methods and Analysis

  • Qualitative and quantitative methods.

  • Variables, sampling, hypothesis, reliability and validity.

  • Techniques of data collection.

Works and Economic Life

  • Formal and informal organization of work.

  • Social organization of work in different types of society - slave society, feudal society, industrial capitalist society.

  • Labour and society.

Sociological Thinkers

  • Emile Durkhteim - Division of labour, social fact, suicide, religion and society.

  • Talcott Parsons - Social system, pattern variables.

  • Max Weber - Social action, ideal types, authority, bureaucracy, protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism.

  • Mead - Self and identity

  • Robert K. Merton - Latent and manifest functions, conformity and deviance, reference groups.

  • Karl Marx - Historical materialism, mode of production, alienation, class struggle.

Sociology as Science

  • Non-positivist methodologies.

  • Science, scientific method and critique.

  • Fact value and objectivity.

  • Major theoretical strands of research methodology.

  • Positivism and its critique.

Stratification and Mobility

  • Theories of social stratification - Structural functionalist theory, Marxist theory, Weberian theory.

  • Concepts - equality, inequality, hierarchy, exclusion, poverty and deprivation.

  • Social mobility - open and closed systems, types of mobility, sources and causes of mobility.

  • Dimensions - Social stratification of class, status groups, gender, ethnicity and race.

Politics and Society

  • Protest, agitation, social movements, collective action, revolution.

  • Sociological theories of power.

  • Nation, state, citizenship, democracy, civil society, ideology.

  • Power elite, bureaucracy, pressure groups and political parties.

Religion and Society

  • Religion in modern society: religion and science, secularization, religious revivalism, fundamentalism.

  • Sociological theories of religion.

  • Types of religious practices: animism, monism, pluralism, sects, cults.

Social Change in Modern Society

  • Development and dependency.

  • Sociological theories of social change.

  • Education and social change.

  • Science, technology and social change.

  • Agents of social change.

Systems of Kinship

  • Lineage and descent.

  • Patriarchy and sexual division of labour.

  • Types and forms of family.

  • Contemporary trends.

  • Family, household, marriage.

Also read: Information about category-wise career exams

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UPSC Sociology Optional Syllabus for Paper II



Introducing Indian Society

Perspectives on the Study of Indian Society

  • Indology (G.S. Ghure).

  • Marxist sociology (A. R. Desai).

  • Structural functionalism (M. N. Srinivas).

Impact of colonial rule on Indian society

  • Modernization of Indian tradition.

  • Social reforms.

  • Social background of Indian nationalism.

  • Protests and movements during the colonial period.

Social Structure

Rural and Agrarian Social Structure:

  • Agrarian social structure— evolution of land tenure system, land reforms.

  • The idea of Indian village and village studies.

Caste System in India

  • Untouchability-forms and perspectives

  • Features of caste system.

  • Perspectives on the study of caste systems: G. S. Ghurye, M. N. Srinivas, Louis Dumont, Andre Beteille.

Systems of Kinship in India

  • Household dimensions of the family.

  • Lineage and descent in India.

  • Types of kinship systems.

  • Patriarchy, entitlements and sexual division of labour.

  • Family and marriage in India.

Rural and Agrarian Transformation in India

  • Problems of rural labour, bondage, migration

  • Programmes of rural development, Community Development Programme, cooperatives, poverty alleviation schemes.

  • Changing modes of production in Indian agriculture.

  • Green revolution and social change.

Religion and Society

  • Social Changes in India

  • Problems of religious minorities.

  • Religious communities in India.

Tribal Communities in India

  • Definitional problems.

  • Colonial policies and tribes.

  • Issues of integration and autonomy.

  • Geographical spread.

Social Classes in India

  • Industrial class structure.

  • Agrarian class structure.

  • Middle classes in India.

Visions of Social Change in India

  • Education and social change.

  • Constitution, law and social change.

  • Idea of development planning and mixed economy.

Politics and Society

  • Regionalism and decentralization of power.

  • Political parties, pressure groups, social and political elite.

  • Secularization.

  • Nation, democracy and citizenship.

Industrialization and Urbanisation in India

  • Evolution of modern industry in India.

  • Working class: structure, growth, class mobilization.

  • Slums and deprivation in urban areas.

  • Growth of urban settlements in India.

  • Informal sector, child labour.

Social Movements in Modern India

  • Backward classes & Dalit movements.

  • Peasants and farmers movements.

  • Women’s movement.

  • Environmental movements.

  • Ethnicity and Identity movements.

Population Dynamics

  • Components of population growth: birth, death, migration.

  • Emerging issues: ageing, sex ratios, child and infant mortality, reproductive health.

  • Population Policy and family planning.

  • Population size, growth, composition and distribution.

Challenges of Social Transformation

  • Ethnic conflicts, communalism, religious revivalism.

  • Illiteracy and disparities in education.

  • Poverty, deprivation and inequalities.

  • Violence against women.

  • Caste conflicts.

  • Crisis of development: displacement, environmental problems and sustainability.

UPSC Subject-wise Questions for various Subjects

Why Choose Sociology as UPSC Optional Subject?

Given the large number of optional subjects that one can choose from while writing the IAS exam 2024, many candidates are bound to get confused about the best optional subject for them. Let’s discuss some of the advantages of choosing Sociology as an optional subject to provide some clarity to those looking to take this subject.

  • Candidates taking sociology will be able to study efficiently as there is an overlap in topics covered in the IAS sociology optional syllabus and the General studies paper.

  • Candidates from any background can pick sociology as a subject

  • The sociology syllabus is relatively shorter compared to some other subjects

  • Sociology is a great choice of optional subject for those who prefer subjects that can be learnt by conceptual understanding over rote learning

  • Sociology as a subject complements the profession of an IAS officer really well as the topics covered by the UPSC Sociology Syllabus deal with the condition of society.

UPSC Sociology Books 2024

Along with the UPSC Sociology Syllabus 2024, candidates can also refer to this curated list of the best books for IAS Sociology optional to find good study material for preparation.

  • Yogendra Singh book- Modernisation of Indian Tradition

  • Social change in India - M.N. Srinivas

  • Mahapatra class notes

  • Upendra sir notes

  • Haralambos Blue book

  • NCERT books of sociology

  • IGNOU books (Certain chapters)

  • Social Background of Indian Nationalism - A.R. Desai

Also read: UPSC Mock Tests Series for UPSC

UPSC Sociology Optional Books

Candidates preparing for the UPSC Sociology 2024 exam must go through the list of recommended books for the exam in order to study the topics from the UPSC Sociology Syllabus effectively. For more details, candidates can consult the table given below.

Sociology Optional Books for Paper-I

Book name


Sociological Theory

Ritzer George

Political Theory

O P Gauba

Related Articles

Sociology Optional Books for Paper-II

Book name


Indian Society and Culture

Nadeem Hasnain

Persistence and Change in Tribal India

M.V. Rao

Also check:

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

1. What is the selection process of the IAS 2024 exam?

IAS selection process 2024 comprises prelims exam, mains exam and personal interview.

2. What is the age limit to apply for IAS 2024 application form?

Candidates between the age of 21 to 32 years can fill out the IAS application form.

3. Can I challenge the answer key of IAS 2024?

No candidates are not allowed to challenge the IAS answer key.

4. How will the IAS 2024 result be released?

IAS result 2024 will be released in PDF having roll numbers of all the qualified candidates.

5. Is the syllabus same for IAS 2024 syllabus is same for both Paper 1 & 2?

No, the syllabus of the UPSC IAS syllabus for Paper 1 and 2 is different.

6. How many stages are in IAS 2024 exam?

As per the IAS exam pattern, the exam is conducted in three stages - preliminary, mains and personality test/interview.

7. Is there negative marking in the UPSC IAS exam 2024?

Yes, there will be negative markings in the IAS exam in the preliminary stage.

8. When will the IAS 2024 registration be begun?

The IAS notification will be released on February 14, 2024.

9. When is the UPSC prelims 2024 admit card to be released?

The admit card of IAS prelims is released online on May 8, 2024 on the official website.

10. What is the closing date of IAS 2024 application form?

The last date to apply for IAS 2024 examination will be March 5, 2024.


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Questions related to UPSC CSE

Have a question related to UPSC CSE ?

It's great that you are taking the initiative to pursue your dream of becoming an IAS officer, Bettaswamy. Many working professionals like you crack the UPSC exam every year.

Anxiety often stems from dwelling on uncertainties. Instead, focus on what you can control – your daily preparation. Break down your study plan into manageable chunks and celebrate small goals. Challenge negative thoughts with realistic and empowering self-talk. Instead of "what if I fail," tell yourself, "I am putting in the effort to succeed, and I am capable of learning from any outcome." Practice relaxation techniques like meditation, deep breathing, or yoga to calm your mind and reduce stress.

Plan your study schedule around your work commitments. Utilize pockets of time for revision and dedicate focused study time during evenings or weekends.

Plan your study schedule around your work commitments. Utilize pockets of time for revision and dedicate focused study time during evenings or weekends.

Connect with other UPSC aspirants or online forums for motivation and sharing strategies. Consider joining a coaching institute that caters to working professionals.

I hope it helps!


I assume you want to know the eligibility criteria to becoming an IAS. First of all, to become an IAS,  one has to clear UPSC CSE examiner. There are certain eligibility criteria for applying in this examination and they are as follows:

  • Bachelor's degree from any recognised college.
  • Age between 21-32; with some relaxation for reserved categories.
  • Citizen of India ora subject of Nepal/ Bhutan or Tibetan refugee who came to India, to permanently settle here before January 1, 1962, or People of Indian origin who migrated from Uganda, Burma, Pakistan, Zambia, the United Republic of Tanzania, Malawi, Sri Lanka, East African Countries of Kenya, Zaire, Ethiopia and Vietnam to permanently settle in India.

For more information, please visit the website by clicking on the link given below:

And other government jobs, the eligibility test is different for different jobs. It would have been if you could mention the government job you are interested in.

Hope this answers your query. Thank you

Dear aspirant !!

Hope you are doing good !

Yes it will be considered because Bachelor in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (BASLP) is a 4-year degree course . It is a multi-disciplinary profession with core subjects including speech pathology, language pathology, and audiology.

Hope it helps you ;

Thank you

Dear Aspirant !

Hope you are fine!

The main subjects for the UPSC Exam are Indian Politics, Indian Economy, International Relations, Science and Technology, Geography, History, Environment and Ecology, and related Current Affairs . There are 25 subjects and 23 literature optional that one can choose from in addition to this..

Thank you

Hello aspirant,

With the help of the IAS Answer Key 2024, applicants can estimate their potential score for the IAS preliminary exam, learn about the various IAS question types, gauge the exam's difficulty, and much more.

To get the answer key, you can visit our website by clicking on the link given below.

Thank you

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