Sociology Books for UPSC

by Vajiram & Ravi

Sociology books play a crucial role in the preparation of candidates who have selected sociology as their optional subject for the UPSC exam. With the right sociology books and a solid strategy, covering this popular optional subject becomes manageable. However, the abundance of available books can lead to confusion and overwhelm for candidates during the selection process. It is essential to choose the right sociology optional books to avoid feeling stressed during preparation.

To simplify this process, we have compiled a list of the best Sociology Optional Books for UPSC, aiming to help candidates efficiently cover the sociology syllabus. Additionally, we will provide tips and tricks to guide candidates in making the most out of their Sociology Optional Books.

Sociology Books for UPSC Optional Paper 1

Sociology optional paper 1 is one of the papers that candidates can choose to write in the UPSC Civil Services Mains exam. It covers various topics related to the fundamentals of sociology, the sociological thinkers who have contributed significantly to the field, and various sociological theories. This paper is designed to test candidates’ theoretical knowledge and analytical skills in sociology.

Here is a list of best sociology books for Optional Paper 1:

  • Introduction to Sociology by Anthony Giddens
  • Sociological Theory by George Ritzer
  • Sociology Themes and Perspectives by Haralambos & Holborn
  • A Dictionary of Sociology by John Scott
  • Sociological Thought by Francis Abraham and John Henry Morgan
  • An Introduction to Political Theory by O P Gauba

Sociology Optional Books for Paper 2

Sociology optional paper 2 covers various topics related to Indian society, its structure, change, and challenges. This paper is designed to test candidates’ empirical knowledge and sociological analysis of the Indian context.

  • Social Change in Modern India by M N Srinivas
  • Caste Its Twentieth Century Avatar by M N Srinivas
  • Handbook of Indian Sociology by Veena Das
  • Indian Society: Themes and Social Issues by Nadeem Hasnain
  • Modernization of Indian Tradition by Yogendra Singh
  • Rural Sociology by S.L Doshi and P.C Jain
  • Social Background of Indian Nationalism by A R Desai

How to Prepare with Sociology Books for UPSC?

To utilize the Sociology Books for UPSC at their best use the following steps:

  • Exam Challenges and Effective Study:
    • The Civil Service Exam is challenging, and questions can be tricky.
    • To get good results, it's crucial to cover the selected Sociology Books for UPSC in the right way.
  • Optimal Reading Approach:
    • When delving into a topic from the UPSC Sociology Syllabus, read from two recommended Sociology optional books.
    • Add any extra information you find to your notes, ensuring all relevant details are in one place.
  • Simplify Your Sources:
    • Avoid reading every topic from multiple books; stick to one suggested source.
    • Keep your list of Sociology Books for UPSC simple and short for better clarity.
  • Recommended Book for Both Papers:
    • Consider "Essential Sociology" by Nitin Sangwan as mandatory reading for both Paper I and Paper II.


What are the best Sociology Books for UPSC?

The Best sociology books for UPSC are:

  • "Introduction to Sociology" by Anthony Giddens
  • "Sociology Themes and Perspectives" by Haralambos & Holborn
  • "Sociological Theory" by George Ritzer
  • "Social Change in Modern India" by M N Srinivas
  • "Caste Its Twentieth Century Avatar" by M N Srinivas
  • "Handbook of Indian Sociology" by Veena Das

Which NCERT book is best for Sociology Optional UPSC?

For Sociology Optional in UPSC, the NCERT book titled "Indian Society" is commonly recommended. This book is part of the NCERT Sociology series and provides a good introduction to the sociological aspects of Indian society. It covers topics such as diversity, social institutions, and social change in the Indian context.

Check: NCERT Books for UPSC