UPSC Mains – How to Prepare for Sociology Optional? What is the success rate of Sociology optional in UPSC?

Nothing more than the improvement of our social intelligence is what sociology is all about. Since we are all tied to this society as learners, we have gradually gained a fundamental comprehension of it. However, a few essential issues still leave us in a state of confusion.

Sociology is regarded as a fairly safe elective subject because mastering it doesn’t involve any specialized knowledge, expertise, or academic training. It has been repeatedly demonstrated that candidates with little prior sociological understanding have performed admirably in this context.

Since sociology deals with society, which we are all a part of, any student may choose to take it as an elective. Students with technical skills might choose sociology as a major in addition to those with a humanities background because sociologists with this background tend to excel in the field’s practical applications. Due to its widespread nature and lack of specialized training requirements, sociology is also a possibility for applicants who do not come from the technical or humanities fields.

The number of candidates who are chosen varies from year to year and is often between 100 and 300 for each optional. The success rate of sociology as an optional is often avoided since there are some applicants who receive excellent marks in their optional subject but do not do well in their GS exams, preventing them from getting close to the interview panel. This is why is recommended that students should join a renowned IAS coaching institute that can help them to create a clear roadmap for preparation.

1. Scoring Subject

One of the key factors influencing sociology’s appeal is the fact that it is seen as a high-scoring topic. Additionally, the success rate is quite high. Candidates should be able to finish within four months if they work diligently given the short syllabus.

2. No Background Needed

Candidates from any academic background are welcome to choose the sociology option and can easily study it. Candidates probably have at least a fundamental understanding of some sociological ideas. Family, religion, and other common concepts are frequently discussed in daily newspapers. Most people think it’s a fascinating topic.

3. Study Material Available

For this subject, there is a wealth of study resources available. You might begin by studying NCERT books for grades XI and XII and viewing UGC video lectures on sociology to get a basic understanding of concepts. Even yet, there is enough study material because sociology is a fairly popular elective.

Sociology – Syllabus – GS Paper 1

  • Political philosophies such as capitalism, communism, socialism, etc., and their effects on society.
  • Highlights of Indian society, Diversity in India.
  • Impacts of globalization on Indian culture.
  • Role of women and women’s organization, poverty and developmental issues, population and associated issues, urbanization.
  • Social empowerment, communalism, secularism, and regionalism.

Sociology – Syllabus – GS Paper 2

  • Pressure groups and formal/informal associations, their role in the polity.
  • Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population, mechanisms, laws, institutions, and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of vulnerable sections.
  • Development processes and the development industry – the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.
  • Education, Human Resources.
  • Issues relating to the development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to health.
  • Civil services in a democracy.
  • Issues relating to poverty and hunger.

Sociology – Syllabus – GS Paper 3

  • Land reforms in India.
  • Comprehensive development and issues emerging from it.
  • Development and spread of extremism linkage – Naxalism.
  • Changes in industrial policy, impacts of liberalization on the economy, and their outcome on industrial growth.

Sociology – Syllabus – GS Paper 4

  • Human Values- the role of family, society, and educational institutions in inculcating values; reformers and administrators, lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders.

Preparation Strategy – Tips

  • Read “Sociology: Themes and Perspectives” by Haralambos and Holborn to get started on your sociology preparation. You will gain a foundational comprehension of all the key sociological ideas from this book. It also includes case studies, and reading it will assist you in putting theory into practice. Additionally, dealing with chapters like Economic Life, Politics and Society, and Kinship and Social Change is made much easier by the book.
  • Emile Durkheim, Karl Marx, Talcott Parsons, Max Weber, Herbert Mead, and Robert Merton are the six philosophers you must study. It is essential to cover every theory in depth. You can use the information in this chapter to write responses to questions from previous chapters as well. For instance, chapter 2’s discussion of “Science, Scientific Method, and Critique” touches on Max Weber’s Scientific Method in sociological analysis.
  • You must read a thorough book on sociological thought if you want to comprehend the numerous theories and create superior replies throughout. George Ritzer’s book “Sociological Theory” is suggested for this. All sociological ideas, modern theories, and post-modern theories are included. This book has been suggested by several successful candidates, including Anu Kumari and Ila Tripathi.
  • Remembering the original definitions offered by the thinkers is also beneficial. Your answers will be substantially more valuable as a result.