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Sociology Optional


The scientific study of social life, social behaviour, social causes, the impact of human conduct, social interaction patterns, social institutions, and cultural facets of various societies is known as sociology. It aids one in developing a deeper understanding of society and the wider world. Other disciplines, like history and geography, must be taught in schools because they lack a natural connection to human existence. On the other hand, sociology is done on a regular basis without our knowledge at home, at school, and even with friends. The foundation of this subject is how we act, speak, give, take, and function in general.

Why choose SOCIOLOGY Optional?

  • Sociology is a well-known and frequently chosen optional subject in UPSC CSE. Because of the nature of the syllabus and its significant overlap with GS Society, Essay, Ethics, and, to a lesser extent, other GS papers, it has the distinct quality of being a super subject.
  • Optional Foundation is a 4-month comprehensive class that covers the entire UPSC Sociology syllabus through innovative teaching methods and the application of various approaches mentioned in the syllabus.
  • The optional’s sheer utilitarian value aids not only in the overall enhancement of knowledge but also covers the majority of the UPSC Syllabus.


Unparalleled Attention

Every aspirant has their own set of strengths and weaknesses. Individual attention and nurturing are hallmarks of our courses and teaching style.

Thoughtful Analysis

In-depth comprehension and astute analysis must be reflected in the aspirants’ responses and personalities. We are committed to instilling these characteristics in our courses and teaching.

Answer Writing 

It is impossible to succeed in the Civil Services exam if one cannot write intuitive and beautiful answers. We go above and beyond to ensure that our students learn these skills.

Clarity of concepts 

To address the twisted and difficult questions that have become the new normal, conceptual clarity is essential. Pankaj Sir’s clear teaching style will be a game-changer in developing outstanding concepts.

A Four-Layered Strategy

  1. In detail coverage of the Syllabus 
  2. Daily answer writing practice and evaluation by the Faculty 
  3. Teaching in tandem with the Current Affairs 
  4. Personalized Mentorship.
  • The course duration is four months.
  • Coverage of the entire syllabus is complete and comprehensive.
  • Updated study materials, as well as recent case studies Paper I and II are linked using an innovative methodology.
  • Through daily assignments, you will learn the art of writing good answers.
  • Paper II and Tribal India will be given special attention (which is rarely taught elsewhere).
  • Discussion of questions from previous years as well as anticipated questions.
  • Personalized mentoring.


Pankaj Shukla is a top sociology Faculty in Delhi, and his scientific approach to teaching has helped many students get selected for the Civil Services exam. His sociology electives are entirely focused on the UPSC (Civil Services Examination). It means you’ll be joining one of the best sociology optional coaching programs in Delhi, one that is completely dedicated to the IAS exam.


Introduction Video Sociology by Pankaj Shukla

The optional’s sheer utilitarian value aids not only in the overall enhancement of knowledge but also covers the majority of the UPSC Syllabus.



  1. Paper-I
    1. George Ritzer
    2. Blue Haralambos
    3. IGNOU (most lucid and well-explained material)
    4. Nitin Sangwan to bridge any gaps and for thinkers
  2. Paper- II
    1. Indian Sociological thoughts by BK Nagla for thinkers and chapters like- Caste system etc.
    2. Rural Sociology SL Doshi Book for Rural society, land reforms, cooperatives, Agrarian transformation, etc.
    3. Indian Society and Culture book by Nadeem Husnain for Tribes chapter.
    4. IGNOU
    5. Nitin Sangwan to bridge any gaps and for thinkers
    6. Kanitkar for Population (should be read very very selectively)

Why has Sociology Optional gained such immense popularity?

  1. Consistency: Over the years, the selections have been very consistent in this subject.
  2. Scoring Potential: It has a high scoring potential, as one can easily achieve 300+ marks with good writing practice, appropriate guidance, and comprehensive notes.
  3. Relevance to the job role: Theoretical knowledge of the subject has enormous practical potential. It familiarizes the aspirant with societal norms and practices, allowing him to understand and evaluate policy decisions more effectively. It entails a thorough examination of human society, which is highly relevant to the job role.

Nature of Sociology Syllabus

  • Paper 1 of the syllabus is divided into 10 chapters which can be broadly clubbed as follows;
  • Sociology as a discipline.
  • Important currents in sociological thought.
  • Social institutions.
  • Social Realities.
  • Social change.


  • Paper 2 of the syllabus is about Indian Sociology, and the same classification applies, along with Social problems and solutions.

Sociology Conquer Programme (SCP)at VIMARSHA IAS 

        “A foundation program for sociology optional for beginners”. 

  • The Sociology Conquer Programme at VIMARSHA IAS  has benefited the candidates for years with a good score under the expert guidance of PANKAJ SHUKLA.
  •   PANKAJ SIR’S 10+ years of teaching experience adds enormous value to students’ preparation.
  • The course is meticulously designed, with an emphasis on comprehensive coverage of the syllabus
  • Special efforts are taken by Pankaj sir to align the syllabus with current affairs
  • The V+ OPTIONAL TEST -SERIES(OPTIONAL THROUGH 400+ QUESTIONS)  holds the distinction of being completely in line with Civil Services Mains Exam trends. 

Roadmap of Sociology Conquer Programme (SCP)at VIMARSHA IAS by Pankaj Shukla Sir

  1. Selection of study material– Classroom lectures, verbatim notes, and classroom material by Pankaj Sir shall be the primary source to study the optional. Bulky books like Haralambos and Holborn – Sociology Themes and Perspectives, IGNOU notes shall be the secondary sources to lessen the unnecessary burden of reading.
  2. Establishing Linkages-Once the syllabus will be covered, the next step would be to consolidate it in order to establish links between various parts of the syllabus for ease in answer writing in the main examination. (This is made quite easier by Pankaj Sir through his classroom program.)
  3. Supplementation of the current events-This shall be a two-way process wherein reading newspapers, journals, and magazines by the candidates as well as discussions of the case studies in the classroom course by Pankaj Sir shall be done. This activity is a sure-shot mark fetching one in static but dynamic sociology optional.
  4. Revision: Revision is essential for successfully reproducing prepared content this will be done post-syllabus completion in a crash course module. The entire optional syllabus shall be revised in a rapid revision series format in the last month of the course. Assured Revision Care (ARC)-Revision after the entire course completion is to make you exam ready. But, through ARC we make sure you revise your class again after going home during your study time. For this, we provide the same-day online recorded class on our V+ app. Access to these classes shall be provided for the entire duration of the course. We thus believe that the revision is also a two-way process!
  5. Performance Checks-in order to check your performance, timely tests,mini-tests, and surprise tests! Shall be taken on a regular basis. The papers shall be evaluated by Pankaj Sir himself(we don’t outsource the team). Again this shall be a two-way process too! Doubt-clearing sessions, for weak performers in the tests, shall be held so that no one is left behind and aces 300+ in the mains exam.

What about those getting Low marks in sociology optional?

The main problem lies in

  1. Lack of ability to form interlinkages between the syllabus 
  2. Lack of exhaustive answer writing practice with quality evaluation.
  3. Lack of quality case studies 
  4.  Lack of content (usually a problem faced by first-timers)

The all-in-one solution for the above shortcomings is  V+ OPTIONAL TEST -SERIES(OPTIONAL THROUGH 400+ QUESTIONS) 

  • This program aims to cover the entire syllabus of Optional Subjects (both paper-1 & 2) through 400+ questions. 
  • The questions will be discussed in the classroom to help you understand the related concepts and the demand of the questions.
  • However, this program is an amalgamation of both where you will be discussing every concept and theory of Optional subjects in the classes along with writing mock tests which have been framed keeping in mind the current trend of UPSC.
  • This program is important for you as it will help you to understand all the concepts of Optional in a very short period that too with answer writing practice.
  • This program is for both, the freshers as well as the UPSC aspirants who have completed their optional classes as it will be providing concept-building classes as well as answer writing practice along with detailed discussions.

Under this program, daily 2 hours of classes will be provided in which 5 questions will be discussed. This will go on for up to 50 days.

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Sociology Optional

Sociology Optional Syllabus For UPSC Mains



1. Sociology – The Discipline:

(a) Modernity and social changes in Europe and emergence of sociology.

(b) Scope of the subject and comparison with other social sciences.

(c) Sociology and common sense.

2. Sociology as Science:

(a) Science, scientific method, and critique.

(b) Major theoretical strands of research methodology.

(c) Positivism and its critique.

(d) Fact value and objectivity.

(e) Non- positivist methodologies.

3. Research Methods and Analysis:

(a) Qualitative and quantitative methods.

(b) Techniques of data collection.

(c) Variables, sampling, hypothesis, reliability, and validity.

4. Sociological Thinkers:

(a) Karl Marx- Historical materialism, mode of production, alienation, class struggle.

(b) Emile Durkheim- Division of labor, social fact, suicide, religion, and society.

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

(d) Talcott Parsons-   Social system, pattern variables.

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

(f) Mead   – Self and identity.

5.  Stratification and Mobility:

(a) Concepts- equality, inequality, hierarchy, exclusion, poverty and  deprivation

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

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

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

6. Works and Economic Life:

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

(b)  Formal and informal organization of work

(c)  Labour and society.

7. Politics and Society:

(a)  Sociological theories of power

(b)  Power elite, bureaucracy, pressure groups, and political parties.

(c)   Nation, state, citizenship, democracy, civil society, ideology.

(d)   Protest, agitation, social movements, collective action, revolution.

8. Religion and Society:

(a)   Sociological theories of religion.

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

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

9. Systems of Kinship:

(a)   Family, household, marriage.

(b)   Types and forms of family.

(c)   Lineage and descent

(d)   Patriarchy and sexual division of labour

(e)   Contemporary trends.

10. Social Change in Modern Society:

(a)   Sociological theories of social change.

(b)   Development and dependency.

(c)   Agents of social change.

(d)   Education and social change.

(e)   Science, technology and social change.



A. Introducing Indian Society:

(i) Perspectives on the study of Indian society:

(a) Indology  (GS. Ghurye).

(b) Structural functionalism  (M N Srinivas).

(c) Marxist sociology  ( A R Desai).

(ii) Impact of colonial rule on Indian society :

(a) Social background of Indian nationalism.

(b) Modernization of Indian tradition.

(c) Protests and movements during the colonial period.

(d) Social reforms

B. Social Structure:

(i) Rural and Agrarian Social Structure:

(a) The idea of Indian village and village studies-

(b) Agrarian social structure –

evolution of land tenure system,  land reforms.

(ii) Caste System:

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

(b) Features of caste system.

(c) Untouchability – forms and perspectives

(iii) Tribal communities in India:

(a) Definitional problems.

(b) Geographical spread.

(c) Colonial policies and tribes.

(d) Issues of integration and autonomy.

(iv) Social Classes in India:

(a) Agrarian class structure.

(b) Industrial class structure.

(c) Middle classes in India.

(v) Systems of Kinship in India:

(a) Lineage and descent in India.

(b) Types of kinship systems.

(c) Family and marriage in India.

(d) Household dimensions of the family.

(e) Patriarchy, entitlements and sexual division of labour.

(vi) Religion and Society:

(a) Religious communities in India.

(b) Problems of religious minorities.

C. Social Changes in India:

(i) Visions of Social Change in India:

(a) Idea of development planning and mixed economy.

(b) Constitution, law and social change.

(c) Education and social change.

(ii) Rural and Agrarian transformation in India:

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

(b) Green revolution and social change.

(c) Changing modes of production in Indian agriculture .

(d) Problems of rural labour, bondage, migration.

(iii) Industrialization and Urbanisation in India:

(a) Evolution of modern industry in India.

(b) Growth of urban settlements in India.

(c) Working class: structure, growth, class mobilization.

(d) Informal sector, child labour

(e) Slums and deprivation in urban areas.

(iv) Politics and Society:

(a) Nation, democracy and citizenship.

(b) Political parties, pressure groups , social and political elite.

(c) Regionalism and decentralization of power.

(d) Secularization

(v) Social Movements in Modern India:

(a) Peasants and farmers movements.

(b) Women’s movement.

(c) Backward classes & Dalit movement.

(d) Environmental movements.

(e) Ethnicity and Identity movements.

(vi) Population Dynamics:

(a) Population size, growth, composition and distribution.

(b) Components of population growth: birth, death, migration.

(c) Population policy and family planning.

(d) Emerging issues: ageing, sex ratios, child and infant mortality, reproductive health.

(vii) Challenges of Social Transformation:

(a)  Crisis of development: displacement, environmental problems and sustainability.

(b) Poverty, deprivation and inequalities.

(c) Violence against women.

(d) Caste conflicts.

(e) Ethnic conflicts, communalism, religious revivalism.

(f) Illiteracy and disparities in education.

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Sociology Optional