Civil Service Mains Examination – Sociology Syllabus



  1. Sociology – The Discipline:

Modernity and social changes in Europe and emergence of sociology.

Scope of the subject and comparison with other social sciences.

Sociology and common sense.


  1. Sociology as Science:

Science, scientific method and critique.

Major theoretical strands of research methodology.

Positivism and its critique.

Fact value and objectivity.

Non- positivist methodologies.


  1. Research Methods and Analysis:

Qualitative and quantitative methods.

Techniques of data collection.

Variables, sampling, hypothesis, reliability and validity.


  1. Sociological Thinkers:

Kar l Marx- Historical materialism, mode of production, alienation, class struggle.

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

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

Talcolt Parsons- Social system, pattern variables.

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

Mead – Self and identity.


  1. Stratification and Mobility:

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

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

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

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


  1. Works and Economic Life:

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

Formal and informal organization of work.

Labour and society.


  1. Politics and Society:

Sociological theories of power.

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

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

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

  1. Religion and Society:

Sociological theories of religion.

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

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


  1. Systems of Kinship:

Family, household, marriage.

Types and forms of family.

Lineage and descent.

Patriarchy and sexual division oflabour.

Contemporary trends.


  1. Social Change in Modern Society:

Sociological theories of social change.

Development and dependency.

Agents of social change.

Education and social change.

Science, technology and social change





  1. Introducing Indian Society:

(i) Perspectives on the study of Indian society:

Indology (GS. Ghurye).

Structural functionalism (M N Srinivas).

Marxist sociology (A R Desai).

(ii) Impact of colonial rule on Indian society :

Social background of Indian nationalism.

Modernization of Indian tradition.

Protests and movements during the colonial period.

Social reforms.

  1. Social Structure:

(i) Rural and Agrarian Social Structure:

The idea of Indian village and village studies.

Agrarian social structure – evolution of land tenure system, land reforms.

(ii) Caste System:

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

Features of caste system.

Untouchability – forms and perspectives.

(iii) Tribal communities in India:

Definitional problems.

Geographical spread.

Colonial policies and tribes.

Issues of integration and autonomy.

(iv) Social Classes in India:

Agrarian class structure.

Industrial class structure.

Middle classes in India.

(v) Systems of Kinship in India:

Lineage and descent in India.

Types of kinship systems.

Family and marriage in India.

Household dimensions of the family.

(vi) Religion and Society:

Religious communities in India.

Problems of religious minorities.

  1. Social Changes in India:

(i) Visions of Social Change in India:

Idea of development planning and mixed economy.

Constitution, law and social change.

Education and social change.

(ii) Rural and Agrarian transformation in India:

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

Green revolution and social change.

Changing modes of production in Indian agriculture .

Problems of rural labour, bondage,migration.

(iii) Industrialization and Urbanisation in India:

Evolution of modern industry in India.

Growth of urban settlements in India.

Working class: structure, growth, class mobilization.

Informal sector, child labour.

Slums and deprivation in urban areas.

(iv) Politics and Society:

Nation, democracy and citizenship.

Political parties, pressure groups , social and political elite.

Regionalism and decentralization of power.


(v) Social Movements in Modern India:

Peasants and farmers movements.

Women’s movement.

Backward classes & Dalit movement.

Environmental movements.

Ethnicity and Identity movements.

(vi) 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.

(vii) Challenges of Social Transformation:

Crisis of development: displacement, environmental problems and sustainability.

Poverty, deprivation and inequalities.

Violence against women.

Caste conflicts.Ethnic conflicts, communalism, religious revivalism.

Illiteracy and disparities in education.

Haralambos and Holborn – Sociology Optional pdf