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Sociology Books for IAS

Sociology is unlike Public Administration in the sense it needs a holistic understanding and is not to be read linearly which is true of Pub Ad  to some extent. The same holds true for Sociology books. They are not to be read in a sequence, do not cover entire topics entirely but are to be read nevertheless. Actually Sociology books are such that you need to scourge for content from many books to frame the right perspective for a given topic.

Sociology Paper 1 Books

Sociology- Themes and Perspectives by Haralambos and Heald

The most definitive and must read book for Paper 1. In fact to understand what’s Sociology is all about read Haralambos. 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.

Sociology by T.B Bottomore

One of the Sociology classics, Bottomore explains the evolution of Sociology in this short book and delves into other areas of Sociology. Upendra Gour, the renowned coach for Sociology  in Delhi recommends to read the first eighty pages of this book. Although not a must read book for sociology it will surely expand your horizons.

Sociological Thought by Abraham and Morgan

As you might be aware Sociology paper 1 is usually more scoring than Paper 2 as the paper 1 syllabus is quite manageable compared to the latter. Apart from this the section on Sociological Thinkers is most important from Mains point of view. Two 60 mark questions are almost always asked from this unit and if you master it you’re on your way to some pretty good marks in the first paper.

That’s why I recommend Sociological Thought which covers all the thinkers mentioned in this unit like Karl Marx, Max Weber, Durkheim, and RK Merton. It even covers other thinkers like Vilfredo Pareto, Auguste Comte, and Herbert Spencer so you can tackle some sections of the first and second unit as well. Sociological Thought is a must read for paper 1.

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.

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.

Sociology Paper 2 Books

For paper 2 i will recommend just a few books not because they cover the entire syllabus but because no amount of books will cover the syllabus in its entirety.

Caste in Modern India and other essays 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. The book it self is quite short and can be read in just 3 days from start to finish. Caste in Modern India also contains social research conducted among the Coorgs by Srinivas and is very relevant for answering questions in Paper 2.

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

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. Through this book Srinivas refutes Louis Dumont’s theory of a static and unchanging India. A recommended book for Sociology mains paper.

Social Stratification by Dipankar Gupta

Dipankar Gupta is an eminent Sociologist who teaches at JNU, New Delhi. Although Social Stratification wasn’t very useful for the old syllabus prior to 2008, it’s one of the most useful and important books for Paper 2 revised syllabus. This book edited by Gupta contains important case studies of various social thinkers that are of direct relevance to Paper 2. As you might know case studies have to be quoted in the second paper to score well. In other words theory needs to be backed with figures and facts in sociology. Mere fluff doesn’t work.

From Louis Dumont to Andre Beteille, Marxist viewpoint to Functionalist, Social Stratification covers all. A must read.

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.

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Vimlaksh
 

I am your friend, mentor and guide to help crack the IAS exam. I've cleared the Prelims everytime including the first and also reached the Interview stage. Know more about me

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 44 comments
Diptendu

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

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Diptendu

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…

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zoha

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

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vivek

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

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

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Ashish Kumar Agrawal

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?

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Ashish Kumar Agrawal

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?

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zoha

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
mallika

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

Reply
mallika

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

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tanya

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

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latha

how to download the e book

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    Paritosh

    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

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….

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salaamindia

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

whr shud i get IGNOU notes for sociology

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neetu

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

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

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khalid

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

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pooja

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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pooja

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

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.

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vkp

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.

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NG

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

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

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

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

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Shailesh Kumar Vishwakarma

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

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

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saikumar korivi

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.

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vijay chandra

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

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..

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deepak patidar

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

Reply
dhana

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.

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kailash

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

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soumya

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

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

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anil

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

Reply

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