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Recommended Sociology Books for IAS

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Sociology is a popular subject among IAS Aspirants and requires a holistic understanding of the entire syllabus. This post lists the most recommended Sociology books for IAS Paper 1 and Paper 2.

Sociology Books for Paper 1

1. Sociology- Themes and Perspectives by Haralambos and Holborn

The most definitive and must read book for Paper 1, often considered the Bible of Sociology. In fact to understand what’s Sociology is all about read Themes and Perspectives by Haralambos and Holborn. This book touches upon all aspects of paper 1 be that family, marriage, kinship, stratification, power, economic system etc. In the old Prelims syllabus nearly 20-25 questions were asked from this book alone. Even in mains, this book is indispensable. The biggest plus point about Sociology Themes and Perspectives is its language. Simple, easy to understand, comprehensive. It also contains relevant case studies of different social systems and phenomena that should be quoted in the IAS mains to score well.

2. Sociological Theory by George Ritzer

Since the chapter on Sociological Thinkers is crucial to your understanding of other topics of Paper 1 and will largely determine your score in this paper a good book is recommended on this topic. Sociological Theory by George Ritzer is highly recommended for covering thinkers in detail.

It covers all the sociological theories under three parts – Classical theories (Karl Marx, Max Weber, Emile Durkheim, George Simmel),  Modern theories and post-Modern theories.

In this way, it Sociological Theory by Ritzer covers the Paper 1 syllabus in detail and even goes beyond so when UPSC revises the civil services syllabus, this book will still be relevant.

3. Methodology and Techniques of Social Research by Jaspal Singh

Unit 3 of Sociology syllabus is about Research Methods and Analysis. Many students tend to skip this section altogether in their preparation as they don’t consider it that important from the Mains viewpoint. But given UPSC’s fickle nature they could ask more than one question from this unit. To plug this hole you should read Methodology and Techniques by Jaspal Singh.

Recommended Books for IAS

Get all the recommended Books for IAS Prelims and Mains exam in one place. Only the essential books for your UPSC preparation are listed on this page. Click Here

Methodology and Techniques explains the basics and details of various research methodologies used by social researchers as well as techniques of data collection and sampling methods. A good book to tackle the unit 3 syllabus.

How to cover the other units of Paper 1?

The topics like Systems of Kinship, Religion and Society, Works and Economic Life don’t require dedicated book rather they they are based on the works of social thinkers. So first understand their work in depth and then combine this understanding with topics and social studies from Haralambos  to frame your answers. Also prepare your own clippings of social surveys if you come across them in magazines or The Hindu to make your answers stand out.

Also ReadSociology Optional Preparation Strategy for UPSC Mains

Sociology Books for Paper 2

4. Indian Sociological Thought by BK Nagla

BK Nagla has authored a very important book titled Indian Sociological Thought that covers that contribution of all the important sociologists and schools of sociology in India. All the different perspectives and narratives of Indian sociology, be that the sub-altern perspective or Marxist or Functionalist or Stratification or Cultural etc are covered.

This will equip you to answer Paper 2 questions with confidence. Indian Sociological Thought is a recommended book for Paper 2.

5. Caste Its Twentieth Century Avatar by M.N Srinivas

The most striking reality of India is not class but caste and M.N Srinivas, one of the foremost Indian Sociologists, explains the caste system from the structural-functionalist perspective in a language that is very easy to comprehend.  Caste its Twentieth Century Avatar explains how caste equations have evolved in India after the Independence phase and particularly after the Mandal politics of 1990’s.

Caste and its 20th Century Avatar by M.N Srinivas tries to understand how the caste structure and equations has changed over the years.

6. Social Change in Modern India by M.N Srinivas

Social change is another important focus of the Sociology syllabus. After all no society, however rigid, is completely statics and change in different degrees modifies it in myriad ways. To understand the changes taking place in Indian society right from the British period M.N Srivivas has written this very short and readable book called Social Change in Modern India. Through this book Srinivas refutes Louis Dumont’s theory of a static and unchanging India. A Social Change in Modern India for Sociology mains paper.

IGNOU Notes

I can go on about sociology books but the fact is the above books are enough to cover the meat of the syllabus. For rest of the syllabus instead of referring individual books go through the IGNOU notes that covers the remaining paper 2 syllabus adequately.

Reference Books for IAS

GS Solved Papers
General Studies Manual
Manorama Year Book
Oxford Student Atlas
Science and Technology

Topic-wise Books for IAS

Indian Polity Laxmikanth
Ecology and Environment
India's Struggle for Independence
Brief History of Modern India
Indian Art and Culture
Certificate Course in Geography

Vimlaksh
 

I am the content head at IASKracker.com. But, I am foremost your friend, mentor and guide to help you crack the IAS exam. I have cleared the Prelims 4 times in a row and also reached the IAS Interview. I have been guiding hundreds of IAS Aspirants since 2009 to help realize their dream of cracking the IAS exam.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 49 comments
Diptendu - August 21, 2011

Thank you very very much sir….for your great initiative…. it is just splendid…. thank you for your hard work & valuable time for us….

Reply
Diptendu - August 21, 2011

Sir one more thing to ask… how to prepare & make the essay paper more live, more to the point & more effective… how to make the notes which will tell the story it self……. & thanks again…

Reply
zoha - August 21, 2011

respected sir thanx for the reply can you give me guidance for csat 2012,so please can i get your email id as i need to ask you few queries or directly on your blog add contact me

Reply
vivek - August 21, 2011

you have made sociology quite a frightening subject. is it true ? is socio really that bad for civil services for which even a dearth of books is insufficient ? should i take psychology then ? i am confused b/w socio and psycho.

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Ashish Kumar Agrawal - August 22, 2011

Dear sir,
Please suggest geography books also as pubad and socio.

Reply
Ashish Kumar Agrawal - August 22, 2011

Sir, i have heard that 1500-1600 candidates are selected only for interview, is it true? if yes then on what basis?
is it top 1500 that qualify mains?

Reply
Ashish Kumar Agrawal - August 22, 2011

Sir, i am in 2nd year in my clg. and my dob is 26-02-93
can i sit in upsc when i start my 4th year?

Reply
zoha - August 22, 2011

sir,can you suggest me books for hindi & english for compulsory indian language & books for csat paper 1 & 2
please reply as soon as possible thank you

Reply
    m.tungoe - May 26, 2012

    jawahar book store,ber sarai,new delhi

    Reply
mallika - August 22, 2011

Sirs, can you suggest books for psychology and geography, kindly reply as early as possible.
thanks.

Reply
mallika - August 22, 2011

Sirs, can u please suggest books for psychology and geography, kindly reply as early as possible.
thanks

Reply
tanya - August 23, 2011

thank you so much sir. i am really glad that you paid attention to our requests…….. thanx a ton 🙂

Reply
latha - September 2, 2011

how to download the e book

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    Paritosh - September 7, 2011

    With regard to “Sociological Thought” by Abraham and Morgan I would like to point out that this book does not cover RK Merton, as mentioned in the post. Kindly refer a book where I can study about RK Merton and Mead from mains syllabus perspectives.

    Reply
Abhishek - October 16, 2011

Dear sir, I am confused between geography and sociology, I am from engineering background and working in a company. Sir I want to know whether its possible to complete the syllabus of geography given that I m working… My other optional is pub ad. I hv heard that socio has a compact syllabus and can be covered easily. The same is not the case with geography. Plz suggest me fr revision.point of view. Though I know that geography is highly scoring but again would I get enough time to revise 2 to 3 times before exam? Thanks in advance….

Reply
salaamindia - November 2, 2011

thanks, 1st of all 4 ur prestigious times 4 us,pls suggest us pub ad. & sociology books.also 4 csat prelisms….. thanks SALAAMINDIA……

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rehan - March 31, 2012

whr shud i get IGNOU notes for sociology

Reply
    m.tungoe - May 27, 2012

    jawahar book store,ber sarai,new delhi

    Reply
neetu - May 21, 2012

Dear Sir, i m confused in sociology books ,there r so many books but i do not know which books i should preferred can u make my job easy in terms to selection the books. neetu

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Aditya - May 23, 2012

is it a good choice to take indian polity and sociology as my two mains optional subjects..

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    Anu Sree - June 6, 2012

    go ahead

    Reply
khalid - May 23, 2012

sir,which is the best publication for the above recommended sociology books

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pooja - June 21, 2012

sir i wnts sociology books in hindi madium pls tell me about that books & from where to get that books in hindi

Reply
pooja - June 21, 2012

sir i wnts sociology books in hindi madium pls tell me about that books & from where to get that books in hindi

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vkp - July 2, 2012

hello sir
i m confused in selecting mains subject.I m B.Tech IT pass out.
i want to select maths with sociology but maths has low selection ratio.
plz help in selecting my optionals so i could clear this exam.

Reply
vkp - July 2, 2012

hello sir
i m confused in selecting mains subject.I m B.Tech IT pass out.
i want to select maths with sociology but maths has low selection ratio.
plz help in selecting my optionals so i could clear this exam.

Reply
NG - July 19, 2012

Sir,
Thank you for this wonderfully systematic blog.
I cleared prelims year 2011 but could not make it through the mains.
I had sociology and history,with history being my honors subject at graduation level, got roughly equal marks in both.
Should I opt for public administration instead of sociology? i have been told its a more ‘scoring’ subject?
Thank you

Reply
NG - July 19, 2012

Sir,
Thank you for this wonderfully systematic blog.
I cleared prelims year 2011 but could not make it through the mains.
I had sociology and history,with history being my honors subject at graduation level, got roughly equal marks in both.
Should I opt for public administration instead of sociology? i have been told its a more ‘scoring’ subject?
Thank you

Reply
narmatha - July 19, 2012

Im an engineering graduate.. I took geography as one of my optionals.. Im confused in choosing the second optional whether sociology or pub ad.. As both are new to me i dont know the difference between these two. Plz give some suggestions sir..

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mohd arif - August 17, 2012

sir please tell me the best book for csat in hindi.

Reply
Shailesh Kumar Vishwakarma - October 11, 2012

sir
i want sociology book in hindi medium please sir tell me about that book & from where to get that book in hindi

Reply
Shailesh Kumar Vishwakarma - October 11, 2012

sir
i want sociology book in hindi medium please sir tell me about that book & from where to get that book in hindi

Reply
saikumar korivi - January 29, 2013

sir i would like write in telugu language…
i like choose optionlas are Pub ADMin nd Telugu..
or suggest any optionals.. iam not prefor any coaching..
give some valuable suggestions to motify towards to reach my goal.
books details for preparing for civils..
than q very much..
i am wait valuable back to me… (sorry)for any interruption.

Reply
vijay chandra - March 1, 2013

Dear Sir ,

I am age of 31 years under SC Category. I have completed 10 th class in the year 1998 12th in 2009 and degree in 2012.I am very Serious in preparing IAS. Kindly guide me without any hesitation,I want to do the top in IAS. Pls be associated with me.
Thanks

Vijay

9347944666

Reply
RAM JI KUSHWAHA - June 24, 2014

Im an engineering graduate.. . Im confused in choosing the optional whether sociology or pub ad.. As both are new to me i dont know the difference between these two. Plz give some suggestions sir..

Reply
deepak patidar - July 23, 2014

sir maine12th kar liya hai kya me ab ias ki tayyari start kar sakta hu

Reply
dhana - October 25, 2014

Hi,
I would like to take sociology optional. Im an engineering graduate. Will doing MA Sociology from Ignou help in optional. What is the petcentage of its use in sociology optional.

Reply
kailash - August 22, 2015

hello… sir i want material/books for sociology,how to get it pls guide me..!

Reply
soumya - November 10, 2015

I am Soumya.I have applied for ODISHA CIVIL SERVICES EXAM-2015.My prelimnary exam is already completed and main exam will be on Jan 15,2015.So I have only 2 months of time.I have taken SOCIOLOGY AND PUBLIC ADMIN. as my compulsory Optional paper. I am currently employed in pvt company…so I am not getting enough time to study.

I have already written all the syllabus of sociology and pub. ad below for your reference.

Please kindly tell me the books name with author that will come as sufficient for this subjects. I want you to tell me those books name which will be sufficient to crack the exam. I know I am behaving like a mad, but due to my time constraint ,I am saying this.

Please tell me minimal no. of books name at the earliest.

PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION

1. Basic concepts : Meaning, Scope and Significance; Public and Private

Administration; Evolution of the Discipline; Comparative Public Administration;

Development Administration; New Public Administration; New Public

Management Perspective.

2. Principles of Organisation : Hierarchy, Unity of Command, Span of Control,

Authority and Responsibility, Coordination, Supervision, Centralisation and

Decentralisation, Delegation.

3. Theories of Organisation : Classical Theory, Scientific Management Theory,

Bureaucratic Theory, Human Relations Theory, Behavioural Approach, Systems

Approach.

4. Administrative Behaviour : Leadership, Policy Formulation, Decision Making,

Communication, Motivation, Morale.

5. Accountability and Control : Concepts; Legislative, Executive and Judicial

Control over Administration; Citizen and Administration; Civil Society, People’s

Participation, Right to Information.

6. Comparative Administrative Systems : USA, UK, France: Features,

Recruitment, Training, Promotion.

7. Personnel Administration in India: Recruitment to all India and Central

Services, Training, Promotion; Union Public Service Commission.

8. Financial Administration: Budget – Concept, Formulation, Execution;

Accounts; Audit; Comptroller and Auditor General of India.

9. Central and State Administration in India: Features of Indian Constitution;

President, Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, Central Secretariat, Cabinet

Secretariat, Prime Minister’s Office, Planning Commission, Finance Commission,

Election Commission; Governor, Chief Minister, State Secretariat, Directorate,

District Administration.

10. Local Government: Evolution; 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Acts.,

Rural and Urban Local Governments in Orissa – Structures, Functions, Finances,

Problems and Prospects.

SOCIOLOGY

Unit I : Basic Concepts :

Society, community, association, institution, culture, culture change, diffusion, Cultural

log, ethnocentrism, acculturation.

Social Groups-primary, secondary and reference groups.

Little Tradition and Great tradition,

Status and role, role conflict, role set, social control.

Norms and values-conformity and deviance,

Law and customs.

Socio-cultural processes :

socialization, assimilation, integration, cooperation, competition, conflict,

accommodation, universalization and parochialization.

Unit II : Marriage, Family and Kinship :

Marriage : types and forms, marriage as contract, and as a sacrament.

Family : types, functions and changes.

Kinships : terms and usages.

Unit III : Social Stratification :

Forms and functions; Caste, Class and gender, Jajmani system, purity and pollution,

dominant caste, sanskritisation.

Unit IV : Types of Society :

Tribal, agrarian, industrial and post-industrial, society.

Unit V : Economy and Society :

Economic systems of simple and complex societies, non-economic determinants of

economic behaviour, market (free) economy and controlled (planned) economy.

Unit VI : Industrial and Urban Society :

Rural-Urban Continuum and contrast, urban growth and urbanization, town, city and

metropolis; urban slums; impact of automation on society; industrialisation and

environment.

Unit VII : Social Demography :

Population size, growth, composition, and distribution in India; components of

population growth-births, deaths and migration; population policy.

Unit VIII : Political Processes :

Power, authority and legitimacy; political socialisation; political modernisation, pressure

groups; caste and politics, Religion and politics.

Unit IX : Weaker Sections-and Minorities :

Protective discrimination; Constitutional safeguards.

Unit X : Social Change :

Theories of change; factors of change; science, technology and change. Social

movements-Peasant Movement, Women’s Movement, Backward Caste Movement, Dalit

Movement.

REGARDS

SOUMYA

Reply
pallavi - June 1, 2016

Hello sir
Aapne jo sociology ki book batai h .wo pure syllabus ke liye kafi h

Reply
anil - September 13, 2016

Sir please suggest me which book I will refer for essay and. Compulsory English .

Reply
Srishti - July 26, 2017

Sir I am a science student i want start ias pepration give me righ way how to start study and selection best suvjecct

Reply
sreeni - August 16, 2018

preparation strategy for sociology optional preparation.

Reply
    Vimlaksh - August 21, 2018

    Hello Sreeni,

    I will soon post an article on this topic. Thanks for your suggestion.

    Reply
Neeraj - September 10, 2018

Hi Vimlaksh,

Would you please help me to give some advice on Sociology reference books for UPSC and some notes which would help my nephew on the exam.

Reply

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