Sociology Optional Coaching

by Vajiram & Ravi

Date of Commencement

25th June 2024




20 Weeks


Rs. 54,000 (Incl. GST)

Course Time

2:30 PM to 05:00 PM

Sociology Optional Coaching

About UPSC Sociology Optional

Sociology is considered one of the most popular optional subjects of UPSC CSE. Sociology is an interdisciplinary discipline. It covers the major themes of General Studies Paper-1 and offers a more comprehensive view of social issues . It has a clear and precise syllabus with overlapping themes with General Studies Paper 1 and 2. Sociology has been one of the highest-scoring subjects over the years. Lots of quality study material and Expert Guidance are available on this subject and students can have easy access to them.

Paper 1 of Sociology Optional deals with Key Sociological ideas, theories and research methods in Sociology. Paper 2 largely covers in-depth, comprehensive understanding of Indian Societies, including Caste, Kinship, religion, Politics and an understanding of social Institutions, Public policies, Demography, Social Problems and Social Changes.

Besides carrying a direct Interface, with Social Issues component, the Subject has a significant overlap with General Studies Paper II( Social Justice), General Studies Paper III ( Public Policies, Planning and Development Issues) and General Studies Paper-IV( Ethics). Every year at least one Essay comes from Sociology theme directly and Social Philosophy also offers lots of inputs for writing the dynamic Essays that are being asked by UPSC over the years.

Download: Sociology Optional Syllabus 

Conducted by our esteemed Faculty Member Subas Mohapatra Sir, Our Sociology Optional Classes are meticulously crafted to offer students a comprehensive and strategic approach to UPSC Mains preparation. With a keen focus on conceptual clarity and understanding of key sociological theories and practices, we provide a structured classroom and LIVE-Online environment conducive to effective learning.

Our classes prioritize clear and concise explanations over rote dictation, ensuring that students develop a deep understanding of sociological concepts and are well-prepared to tackle diverse questions in the exam. We offer meticulously curated study material that is concise, well-researched, and exam-ready, covering the entire syllabus comprehensively and in a timely manner.

Features of Sociology Optional Subject Programme

  • Class Schedule: 2.5-hour sessions, 6 days a week.
  • Comprehensive Syllabus Coverage: Complete coverage of Optional Subject Paper I & II through detailed lectures.
  • Clarity in Concepts: Complex terms and concepts are explained in a clear, easy-to-understand manner.
  • Practical Examples: Everyday examples are used to ensure students not only grasp concepts but can also articulate and write effectively about them.
  • Answer Writing Practice: Integrated answer writing practice throughout the course duration.
  • Regular Class Tests: Frequent tests followed by focused discussions and improvement suggestions.
  • Study Materials: Comprehensive handouts and notes with clear explanations and up-to-date information.
  • Accessibility: Classes are available in both Classroom and Live-Online formats, offering flexibility and convenience for all students.

Understanding Sociology Optional Syllabus

Paper 1

  • Sociology - The Discipline: This section provides a foundational understanding of sociology as a discipline, emphasising its scope, significance, and how it compares with other social sciences. This foundational knowledge helps students understand the unique perspective that Sociology brings to understanding human behaviour and society.
  • Sociology as Science: Focusing on methodological issues, this section equips students with essential research tools and techniques. Understanding positivism, interpretivism, and the debates surrounding objectivity-subjectivity enhances candidates' ability to critically evaluate sociological research.
  • Research Methods and Analysis: Methodological rigour is crucial for sociological inquiry. This section covers both quantitative and qualitative methods, techniques of data collection, and variables, ensuring candidates are proficient in data collection, analysis, and interpretation. Questions from this section often require candidates to apply research methods to analyse social phenomena.
  • Sociological Thinkers: This part delves into the intellectual contributions of major sociological thinkers. It explore the theories and methodologies proposed by thinkers such as Karl Marx, Max Weber, Emile Durkheim, Talcott Parsons,Mead, among others. These foundational perspectives provide candidates with diverse frameworks for understanding and analysing social phenomena.
  • Social Stratification and Mobility: Social stratification is a central concept in sociology, and this section explores its various dimensions, theories, and implications. Students learn to analyse class, caste, gender, and other forms of stratification, as well as the factors influencing social mobility.
  • Works and Economic Life: Understanding the organisation of work and the economy is essential for comprehending social dynamics. It examines labour markets, industrial relations, and the impact of globalisation on work and economy, providing insights into contemporary socio-economic issues.
  • Politics and Society: Politics is intricately linked with social dynamics, and this section explores sociological theories of power, state, and democracy. This part analyses political institutions, movements, and ideologies, gaining a nuanced understanding of the interplay between politics and society.
  • Religion and Society: Religion plays a significant role in shaping social structures and behaviours. This section delves into sociological perspectives on religion, religious organisations, and secularisation, facilitating an understanding of the complex relationship between religion and society.
  • Systems of Kinship: Kinship systems are fundamental to social organisation, and this section examines various kinship structures, family dynamics, and changes in familial relationships. It analyses the role of kinship in shaping social identities and behaviours.
  • Social Change in Modern Society: Societies are constantly evolving, and this section explores the theories, processes, and factors driving social change. Candidates study modernization, development, and social movements, enabling them to analyse historical and contemporary changes in society.

Paper 2

A. Introducing Indian Society:

  • Perspectives on the Study of Indian Society: This section delves into diverse theoretical frameworks including Indology, Structural Functionalism, and Marxist Sociology, offering insights into various analytical approaches such as those presented by Indology (G.S. Ghure), Structural functionalism (M. N. Srinivas), and Marxist sociology (A. R. Desai).
  • Impact of Colonial Rule on Indian Society: Students will explore the profound influence of colonialism on Indian society, encompassing themes such as the social background of Indian nationalism, modernization of Indian tradition, protests and movements during the colonial period, and social reforms.

B. Social Structure:

  • Rural and Agrarian Social Structure: This section delves into the concept of the Indian village, agrarian social structures, and the evolution of land tenure systems and land reforms, including discussions on the idea of the Indian village and village studies, and agrarian social structure—evolution of land tenure system, land reforms.
  • Caste System: Students will examine the complexities of the caste system, featuring perspectives from prominent sociologists and examining aspects such as caste features and untouchability, including discussions on perspectives on the study of caste systems: G. S. Ghurye, M. N. Srinivas, Louis Dumont, Andre Beteille, features of caste system, and untouchability—forms and perspectives.
  • Tribal Communities in India: This part explores challenges and issues surrounding tribal communities, including definitional problems, colonial policies, issues of integration and autonomy, and geographical spread, encompassing discussions on definitional problems, geographical spread, colonial policies and tribes, and issues of integration and autonomy.
  • Social Classes in India: It will analyse diverse social classes in Indian society, encompassing agrarian and industrial class structures, and characteristics of middle classes, including discussions on agrarian class structure, industrial class structure, and middle classes in India.
  • Systems of Kinship in India: This section examines intricate systems of kinship, including lineage and descent, types of kinship systems, family and marriage dynamics, household dimensions, and patriarchal structures, including discussions on lineage and descent in India, types of kinship systems, family and marriage in India, household dimensions of the family, and patriarchy, entitlements, and sexual division of labor.

C. Social Changes in India:

  • Visions of Social Change in India: This part explores different visions of social change, encompassing development planning, constitutional provisions, legal frameworks, and the role of education, including discussions on idea of development planning and mixed economy, constitution, law, and social change, and education and social change.
  • Rural and Agrarian Transformation in India: Students will examine processes of rural development, agrarian transformation, poverty alleviation schemes, and the impact of initiatives such as the Green Revolution, including discussions on programmes of rural development, green revolution and social change, and changing modes of production in Indian agriculture.
  • Industrialization and Urbanization in India: This section delves into dynamics of industrialization, urban growth, working-class structures, informal sectors, and challenges like slums and deprivation in urban areas, including discussions on evolution of modern industry in India, growth of urban settlements in India, and working class: structure, growth, class mobilisation.
  • Politics and Society: Students will explore nexus between politics and society, including themes such as democracy, political parties, pressure groups, regionalism, secularisation, and decentralisation of power, including discussions on nation, democracy, and citizenship, and political parties, pressure groups, social, and political elite.
  • Social Movements in Modern India: This part examines various social movements, including peasant and farmers' movements, women’s movements, movements of backward classes and Dalits, environmental movements, and movements related to ethnicity and identity, including discussions on peasants and farmers movements, women’s movement, and backward classes & Dalit movements.
  • Population Dynamics: Students will analyse population trends, components of population growth, population policies, and emerging issues such as ageing, sex ratios, and reproductive health, including discussions on population size, growth, composition, and distribution, and population policy and family planning.
  • Challenges of Social Transformation: This section addresses myriad challenges accompanying social transformation, including issues such as displacement, poverty, violence against women, caste conflicts, ethnic conflicts, and disparities in education, including discussions on crisis of development: displacement, environmental problems, poverty, deprivation, and inequalities, and violence against women, caste conflicts, ethnic conflicts, communalism, religious revivalism, and illiteracy and disparities in education.

Why Choose Sociology as an Optional?

The UPSC Sociology Optional syllabus is relatively static compared to some other optionals. This means the core topics and themes remain consistent year after year. Consequently, a thorough understanding of the syllabus chapters directly translates to preparing for potential UPSC questions. For instance, questions like Sociology and common sense, scientific nature of sociology, theoretical perspectives, alienation, theories of religion etc. are asked directly from the syllabus.

  • Is sociology common sense? Give reasons in support of your argument.
  • Is Sociology a science? Give reasons for your answer.
  • Elaborate the main tenets of interpretative perspective in sociology.
  • Critically examine positivistic approach in sociology studies.
  • Critically compare the views of E.B. Tylor and Max Muller on Religion.

While the UPSC can frame questions in various ways, there's a tendency for specific themes and topics to reappear across years. By analysing past question papers, you can identify frequently asked questions or those focusing on core sociological concepts mentioned in the syllabus. This repetitive nature allows you to focus your preparation on frequently tested areas and develop strong analytical skills to address these themes effectively in the exam.

For instance, questions on Durkheim’s study of religion, Marx’s mode of production, GS Ghurye's Indological approach, changing nature of caste, dalit movement etc. are often repeated themes.

  • Critically examine the relevance of Durkheim’s views on religion in contemporary society.
  • Elaborate on changing nature of caste system with suitable illustrations.
  • Bring out the various issues involved in Dalit movements in India.
  • Critically examine GS Ghurye’s Indological approach to the understanding of Indian society.

The syllabus of Sociology optional has significant overlap with the General Studies papers. This overlap can save you time as the same topics will be covered in both the papers. For instance, topics like social issues, social justice, gender and social empowerment, governance, and social policies are common to both.

Let's consider some examples:

  1. Has caste lost its relevance in understanding the multi-cultural Indian Society? Elaborate your answer with illustrations.

- This question can be better answered with a good understanding of Sociology, as the concept of caste and its implications on society is a key topic in Sociology (Paper II).

  1. COVID-19 pandemic accelerated class inequalities and poverty in India. Comment.

- Sociology provides a deep understanding of class inequalities and poverty (Paper I), which can be used to answer this question effectively.

  1. Do you agree that regionalism in India appears to be a consequence of rising cultural assertiveness? Argue.

- The concepts of regionalism and cultural assertiveness (Paper II) are well covered in Sociology, which can help in forming a well-structured argument for this question.

  1. Critically examine the impact of globalisation on the cultural diversity of India. 

- Understanding of social processes like globalisation from Sociology (Paper I) would help analyse its impact on cultural practices and traditions.

5. Discuss the changing nature of family in contemporary India.

- Knowledge of institutions like family and marriage (Paper I) and social change (Paper I, Chapter 9) allows to explore this topic from various angles.


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