Sociology – Paper 2 – Reading Materials – Recommendations

Sociology – Paper 2 – Reading Materials – Recommendations

This page is under construction. I’ll take some time to give a detailed recommendation as to what you should read and what you should ignore in every book given bellow. I intend to give unit-wise and sub-unit-wise reading lists.

Sociology – Paper II – Recommendation – Reading Materials

Read the Economically and Political Weekly online for free every week. It’s current issues stay free on its website for a week. So, you don’t have to buy it.

Read the Seminar online.It’s free and extremely helpful for your preparation.

Both the EPW and the Seminar are ideologically left-of-the-centre. I’ll tell you how to tackle this issue.

Ram Ahuja’s books are necessary, but absolutely not sufficient.

Irrespective of your educational background – whether you’ve done your graduation in science, arts or commerce – and your life’s circumstances, you please read these books (or study materials) and look for the portions that are relevant to the UPSC syllabus. Please find time to spend a lot of time with last 10 (or 15) years’ questions. That will help you understand how the questions are framed.

IGNOU – MSO 004, MSO 14, ESO 14 & ESO 16

NCERT Sociology Textbooks for 11th and 12th

Modernization of Indian Tradition – Yogendra  Singh

Handbook of Indian Sociology – Veena Das

Interrogating Caste – Dipankar Gupta

Caste in Question: Identity or Hierarchy – Dipankar Gupta

Political Sociology in India – Dipankar Gupta

Caste: Its Twentieth Century Avatar – M. N. Srinivas

Caste in Modern India and Other Essays – M. N. Srinivas

Understanding Caste: From Buddha To Ambedkar And Beyond – Gail Omvedt

Social Change in Modern India – M. N. Srinivas

Social Stratification – Dipankar Gupta (Editor)

Society In India: Concepts, Theories and Recent Trends – Ram Ahuja

Social Problems In India – Ram Ahuja

Contemporary India – Neera Chandhoke and Praveen Priyadarshi

Social Stratification and Change in India –  Yogendra Singh

Culture Change in India: Identity and Globalization – Yogendra Singh

Social Change in India: Crisis and Resilience – Yogendra Singh

Contemporary India – Satish Deshpande

Yojana (Independence Day Special 2001 – on population)


You need to read a few chapters from the following books. I’ll update this list later.

Buddhism in India : Challenging Brahmanism and Caste – Gail Omvedt

Reinventing Revolution: New Social Movements in India – Gail Omvedt

Population Concerns in India – K Srinivasan



This is the syllabus. I intend to give unit-wise and sub-unit-wise reading lists.


A. 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.

B. 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.

Patriarchy, entitlements and sexual division of labour.


C. 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.




Sociology – Paper 1 – Reading Materials – Recommendations


Irrespective of your educational background – whether you’ve done your graduation in science, arts or commerce – and your life’s circumstances, please read these books (or study materials) extensively.

  • Introducing Sociology (NCERT Class- XI)
  • Understanding Society (NCERT Class -XI)
  • What Is Sociology? – Alex Inkeles
  • Contemporary Sociology – M. Francis Abraham
  • IGNOU BA – ESO 13 & 14
  • IGNOU MA – MSO 002

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.

  • What Is Sociology? – Alex Inkeles (Chapters 1 and 2)
  • Sociology – T B Bottomore (Chapters 1 and 4)
  • Sociology – Harry M. Johnson
  • Sociology – Anthony Giddens (Chapter 1)
  • Sociology – Haralambos and Holborn (Introduction)
  • Sociological Theory – George Ritzer (Chapter 1)
  • Sociological Thought – Francis Abraham and John Henry Morgan
  • IGNOU – BA – Sociology – Study Materials (Relevant Units)

2. 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.

  • Sociology – Anthony Giddens (Chapter 1 and 2)
  • What Is Sociology? – Alex Inkeles (Chapters 3 and 7)
  • IGNOU – BA – Sociology – Study Materials (Relevant Units)

3. Research Methods and Analysis:

Qualitative and quantitative methods.

Techniques of data collection.

Variables, sampling, hypothesis, reliability and validity.

  • Research Methodology – C R Kothari 
  • Methodology and Techniques of Social Research – Bhandarkar and Wilkinson 
  • Methods in Social Research – William J. Goode and Paul K. Hatt 
  • Scientific Social Surveys and Research – Pauline V. Young 
  • Sociology – Anthony Giddens (Chapter – 14)

4. Sociological Thinkers:

Karl 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.

Talcott Parsons – Social system, pattern variables.

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

Mead – Self and identity.

  • Sociological Theory – George Ritzer (Chapters 2, 3, 4, 7 and 10)
  • Modern Sociological Theory – M. Francis Abraham
  • Contemporary Sociology – M. Francis Abraham  
  • Sociological Thought –  Francis Abraham and John Henry Morgan
  • Masters of Sociological Thought – Lewis A. Coser 
  • Sociology – Anthony Giddens (Chapter 3)
  • Sociology – Haralambos and Holborn (Chapter 15)
  • IGNOU – BA – Sociology – Study Materials (Relevant Units)

5. 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.

  • What Is Sociology? – Alex Inkeles (Chapter 6)
  • Social Stratification – Melvin Tumin
  • Sociology – Anthony Giddens (Chapter 12)
  • Sociology – Haralambos and Holborn (Chapter 1)

6. 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.

  • Sociology – Anthony Giddens (Chapter – 7)
  • IGNOU – BA – Sociology – Study Materials (Relevant Units)

7. 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.

  • Sociology – T B Bottomore (Chapter 9)
  • Sociology – Anthony Giddens (Chapter 9) 
  • IGNOU – BA – Sociology – Study Materials (Relevant Units)

8. 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.

  • Sociology – T B Bottomore (Chapters 13)
  • Sociology of Religion – Thomas F. O’Dea
  • Sociology – Anthony Giddens (Chapter 17)

9. Systems of Kinship:

Family, household, marriage.

Types and forms of family.

Lineage and descent.

Patriarchy and sexual division of labour.

Contemporary trends.

  • Sociology – Anthony Giddens (Chapters 10 and 15)
  • The Family – W. Goode 
  • Sociology – T B Bottomore (Chapter 10)
  • IGNOU – BA – Sociology – Study Materials (Relevant Units)

10. 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.

  • Sociology – T B Bottomore (Chapters 15, 16,  17)
  • Social Change – Wilbert E Moore 
  • Sociology – Anthony Giddens (Chapter 4)
  • IGNOU – BA – Sociology – Study Materials (Relevant Units)

Sociology – 2019 – Paper 2 – M.N. Srinivas – Religion and Society

Structural functionalism – Durkheim

Sociology of religion – kinship, social structure, hierarchy and village economy

Book view versus field view of society

Indological versus sociological approach to religion

The okka, the caste and the village

Kinship, marriage, customs (mores and folkways), Sanskritization, dominant caste, Jajmani system

Srinivas set out to show the two-way relationship between religion and social structure.

He showed how religious beliefs and practices were refracted by the structures of joint family, caste and village.