Anthropology Books for UPSC

by Vajiram & Ravi

Anthropology books play a crucial role in the preparation for UPSC Mains, especially for candidates who have chosen anthropology as their optional subject. The books provide in-depth knowledge and a comprehensive understanding of various concepts, theories, and methodologies in the field of anthropology.

Anthropology offers unique perspectives on social issues, cultural diversity, and human behaviour, which can enrich a candidate's analytical and evaluative skills in answering essay-type questions. Studying these books ensures a holistic preparation for the optional subject, covering both Paper I (Physical Anthropology) and Paper II (Social and Cultural Anthropology).

Anthropology Books for UPSC Optional

The significance of anthropology books lies in their ability to equip candidates with a deep understanding of human societies, cultures, and biological aspects, thereby enhancing their overall performance in the UPSC Mains examination. These books often include case studies and examples from fieldwork, providing practical insights into applying anthropological concepts to real-world situations.

Anthropology Optional Books for Paper I

Anthropology Paper I covers the general aspects of anthropology, such as its history, theories, methods, and branches. It also deals with the biological and social evolution of humans, their genetic variations, and their adaptation to different environments. The paper also includes topics such as human growth and development, human ecology, demography, epidemiology, and nutrition. Here is a list of recommended Anthropology Optional Books:

  1. Braintree material
  2. Physical Anthropology – P Nath
  3. Anthropology Simplified – Vivek Bhasme (very good source for diagrams and answer structuring)
  4. Anthropology – Ember and Ember

Anthropology Books for UPSC Optional Paper II

Anthropology Paper II focuses on Indian society and culture, especially the tribal communities. It covers the diversity, distribution, and classification of the Indian tribes, their social organization, kinship, marriage, family, religion, art, and language. The paper also discusses the issues and challenges faced by the tribal people, such as development, displacement, integration, constitutional safeguards, and human rights. Here is a list of recommended books:

  1. Indian Anthropology -Nadeem Hasnain
  2. Tribal India – Nadeem Hasnain
  3. Anthropology Simplified- Vivek Bhasme
  4. The Tribal Culture of India – LP Vidyarthi
  5. Xaxa Report
  6. January 2014 edition of Yojana- Tribal and Marginalized Communities

How to Use Anthropology Books to Prepare for UPSC Optional?

Anthropology is a popular and scoring optional subject for the UPSC exam. To use anthropology books effectively, you can follow these steps:

  • First, understand the syllabus and the weightage of each topic.
  • Second, choose the best books for each topic and read them selectively. You do not need to read the entire book, but only the relevant chapters and sections. Some of the recommended books are:
    • Physical Anthropology by P. Nath
    • Social Anthropology by Ember and Ember
    • Indian Anthropology by Nadeem Hasnain
    • Anthropology Simplified by Vivek Bhasme
  • Third, make notes of the important concepts, facts, diagrams, and examples. You can also use online resources and newspapers to supplement your notes with current affairs and case studies.
  • Fourth, practice writing answers to previous year questions and mock tests. You can also join a test series or a peer group to get feedback and improve your writing skills. You should focus on the structure, content, and presentation of your answers.
  • Fifth, revise your notes and books regularly and update them with new information. You should also keep track of your progress and weak areas and work on them accordingly.

By following these steps, you can use anthropology books to prepare for the UPSC optional exam.

Related Topics:
Art and Culture Book for UPSCCSAT Books
Economics Books for UPSCGeography Books for UPSC
Environment Book for UPSCHistory Books for UPSC
Philosophy Optional BooksPsychology Books
Polity Books for UPSCPublic Administration Optional Books


Which is the best Anthropology Book for UPSC?

For anthropology in UPSC, 'Physical Anthropology' by P. Nath is a recommended book for Paper I, and 'Social-Cultural Anthropology' by Nadeem Hasnain is suggested for Paper II. Additionally, 'Introduction to Social Anthropology' by D.N. Majumdar and 'An Outline of European Prehistory' by Grahame Clark can be useful.

Is Anthropology difficult for UPSC?

Anthropology is not a difficult optional for UPSC. It is a science-oriented subject that incorporates many scientific concepts and has a relatively short syllabus. It is also considered a scoring subject as the questions are generally direct and can be answered with diagrams and flowcharts. However, it requires a good understanding of the concepts and regular practice of writing answers.