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1. C N Shankar Rao Intro to socio

2. Crack IAS notes ppr 1
3. Haralambos very very important book acc to me (understood mead thanks to this book!)
4. IGNOU BA Notes selectively. (Did all units on thinkers thoroughly)
5. Ritzer for Thinkers
6. Upendra Notes for thinkers and introduction only
7. Collins Dictionary for Sociology
Paper 2
1. C N Shankar Rao Indian socio
2. Crack IAS notes ppr 2
3. IGNOU BA Notes selectively
4. Nagla for Indian Thinkers
5. Upendra Notes for movements only
6. Nadeem Hasnain Tribal India selectively
7. Ram Ahuja very few topics
8. Year Book for programmes/schemes
9. Spectrum History for national movement
10. Internet for few topics
Online resources
1. Tanvi Sundariyals blog/other toppers blogs
2. Vision IAS website/blog read few answers by toppers
3. IGNOU egyankosh for pdfs on few topics
4. Wikipedia!
Sociology paper-1 booklist
1. My coaching class notes and printed material( upendra Gaur coaching class notes are good)
2. Haralambos and Holborn note making and revision
3. IGNOU BA & MA for remaining topics and for enrichment
Sociology paper-2 booklist
1. Coaching class notes and printed material
2. IGNOU MA was crucial 6 booklets on indian sociology
3. Tribal India by Nadeem Husnain selected chapters
4. 2-3 chapters from Modernization of Indian tradition
5. Paninis essay on caste in 20
6. Changing India by Robert Stern
7. Hindu and Frontline social issues
Questions in last 2 years are increasingly from lesser known topics and probable gaps from
candidates sides. So cover the whole syllabus.
The book list for your optional has to be varied because all the books dont cover all the topics and
certainly not at the same level. For sociology I followed Haralambos, Anthony Giddens and internet for
paper one. IGNOU,BA notes and society in India by Ram Ahuja for paper two mainly. Here I have to
mention two things. One, I DID NOT read any of the books in their entirety. It was all topic wise and I
made a note of which book I referred to for which topic so that during revision I was not reading an
entirely new perspective on the topic. And two, IGNOU is a really really good book for sociology paper

1. IGNOU BA notes
2. Haralambos and Holborn
3. Sociological Thinkers by George Ritzer
4. Some parts from T.B.Bottommore
5. UIAS study material well as UIAS class notes.
1. Society of India by Mandelbaum for background reading
2. Some parts of Changing India by Robert Stern
3. Few Chapters of India- Development and Participation by Amartya Sen and Jean Dreze
4. Pre-independence Movements and rebellions from Sumit Sarkar
5. Tribal India by Nadeem Hasnain
6. Caste in its 20
century Avatar Essay by Panini and edited by M.N.Srinivas
7. Population studies by Bhende and Kanitkar
8. Modernization of Indian Tradition by Yogendra Singh
9. IGNOU MA notes
10. Supplemented every topic with information from the inter
11. Devote entirely to finish the syllabus of your two optional + GS (Mains)
12. And make revision notes of both optional subjects and for Static portions of GS Mains,
including 2 marker freedom fighters.
13. ^ this is essential / compulsory / must/ no excuse.
14. Apart from that, you can
15. Prepare Skeletal essays for last 19 years papers. http://mrunal.org/2011/12/analysis-
16. If literature is one of your optional- then go through all the good reference books and
write high quality answers for all of last 10 years UPSC papers. (reason: in most of the
literature Optionals, the questions are repeated.)
17. + Maintain current affairs diary from daily newspaper reading. How to read newspapers-
already explained in this article:http://mrunal.org/2012/06/current-affairs-ias.html
18. So next time whenever you clear prelims, much of your time will be saved in doing first
hand study / notes making. And then you have to only do revision + current affairs +
answer practice
19. Booklist for Sociology
20. Sociology! The only subject that I have loved most after Physics probably beacuse both give a lot
of food for thought.I did two courses of Sociology in college as part of my humanities but enjoyed
only one of them, Industrial sociology by Amman Madan, beacuse of his interactive class
For aspirants of UPSC, it is a moderately popular subject.
I recommend it as an optional for UPSC only to those who have the ability to think critically
beyond the obvious and model abstractions, especially in paper-I. Not that those who consider
themselves challenged in this respect cannot prepare for this optional, but those who can will
have a decisive advantage. Study Material for paper-II is not found easily, and the understanding
of key concepts of Paper-I and ability to apply them to real life situations comes in handy.
Here's my recommended Booklist for Socio:-
1)Haralambos - The Bible. (Though this book seems easy, do not not take it lightly.You will find
yourself going back to it again and again. Make clever use of real life studies in the book to
substantiate your answers)
2) Mahapatra ( Vajiram) Sir's Class notes
3) Sociological Thory by Ritzer. (hard to find but gives a good account of theories)

Caution: - Do not study Bottomore (Useless). Refer to Ignou Material ( MSO notes) for only
topics that you can't find in above.

For Paper-II, I have edited the booklist provided here.
21. A. Introducing Indian Society:
(i) Perspectives on the study of Indian society : Indian Sociological Thought. from B. K. Nagla
22. (a) Indology (GS. Ghurye).
(b) Structural functionalism (M N Srinivas).
(c) Marxist sociology ( A R Desai).
23. (ii) Impact of colonial rule on Indian society :
(a) Social background of Indian nationalism. Mahaptra Sir's Notes
(b) Modernization of Indian tradition. Modernization of Indian tradition - Yogenndra
Singh,Handbook of Indian Socio by Veena Das
(c) Protests and movements during the colonial period. Protests and movements during the
colonial period A R Desai
(d) Social reforms Spectrum's Indian
B. Social Structure:
25. (i) Rural and Agrarian Social Structure:
26. (a) The idea of Indian village and village studies- IGNOU ,Handbook of Indian Socio by Veena
(b) Agrarian social structure evolution of land tenure system, land reforms. Praveen Kishore
(Inspiration's) study material
(ii) Caste System:(a) Perspectives on the study of caste systems: GS Ghurye, M N Srinivas,
Louis Dumont, Andre Beteille. Indian Sociological Thought. from B. K. Nagla
(b) Features of caste system. ( Summarize the perspectives from previous topic)
(c) Untouchability forms and perspectives Praveen Kishore (Inspiration's) study material
(iii) Tribal communities in India: Indian Society & Culture Nadeem Husnain
29. (a) Definitional problems. Indian Social System Ram Ahuja
(b) Geographical spread.
(c) Colonial policies and tribes.
(d) Issues of integration and autonomy.
(iv) Social Classes in India: IGNOU
(a) Agrarian class structure.
(b) Industrial class structure.
(c) Middle classes in India.
(v) Systems of Kinship in India: - IGNOU
(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: Praveen Kishore (Inspiration's) study material
(a) Religious communities in India.
33. (b) Problems of religious minorities.
34. C. Social Changes in India:
(i) Visions of Social Change in India:
(a) Idea of development planning and mixed economy. Contemporary India Neera
(b) Constitution, law and social change. Social Change in India Yogendra
Singh,Modernization of Indian tradition - Yogenndra Singh
(c) Education and social change. IGNOU , ESO 14, Social Change in India Yogendra
Singh,Modernization of Indian tradition - Yogendra Singh
(ii) Rural and Agrarian transformation in India:
(a) Programmes of rural development, Community Development Programme, cooperatives,
poverty alleviation schemes - Praveen Kishore (Inspiration's) study material
(b) Green revolution and social change - Praveen Kishore (Inspiration's) study material
(c) Changing modes of production in Indian agriculture - Paper by Hamza Alavi
(d) Problems of rural labour, bondage, migration. IGNOU , MSO 14
35. (iii) Industrialization and Urbanisation in India: IGNOU
(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 Handbook of Indian Socio by Veena Das
(e) Slums and deprivation in urban areas. IGNOU
(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: Social Movements In India by Ghanshyam Shah
(a) Peasants and farmers movements.
(b) Womens movement.
(c) Backward classes & Dalit movement.
(d) Environmental movements.
(e) Ethnicity and Identity movements.
(vi) Population Dynamics: Social Demography : Asha Bhede & Kanitkar
(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. : IGNOU
(ESO 16 )
(vii) Challenges of Social Transformation:
(a) Crisis of development: displacement, environmental problems and sustainability.
(b) Poverty, deprivation and inequalities.
(c) Violence against women. Women in India Neera Desai
(d) Caste conflicts. Politics in India : Sudipta Kaviraj
(e) Ethnic conflicts, communalism, religious revivalism. IGNOU (ESO 16 )
(f) Illiteracy and disparities in education. Handbook of Indian Socio by Veena Das
39. A book on National & Social Issues by Smarak Swain, IRS is highly recommended for topics
against which I have not mentioned any book and also to understand how to make notes in
Sociology.It also contains excellent write-ups on topics on which I have already recommended
some book.
Caution: - Stick strictly to syllabus while referrring to any of the book above, and preferably make
your own notes ( detailed or short) to save time during revision.

Tips: Pick up a topic, scan all sources, collate them logically to make your own notes. You s
40. Sociology Mains Preparation
41. Sorry guys for the delay in writing this post and though I would try my best to answer the
various questions put forward by cse aspirants regarding sociology remember, I am only
human....I did not make notes on every topic...nor did I cover every sub-topic in great
detail...but what I made sure was that:
43. 1.Before reading any notes or chaalu copy paste books I should be thorough with the original
books (mentioned later)
45. 2.Thinkers and Theories(say Theories of social change,of power etc.) should be done in
great detail with elaborate notes,rest of the topics can be done via a single book(you could
pull out/photocopy relevant chapters and put them alongwith your notes so that everything is
in one place when you revise) or mere pointers can do (say for topics like Child Labour).
47. Warning:No notes should be made before a third reading of the chapter/book/source material
especially for those who were, till they decided to plunge into cse preparation completely
alien to the subject and its nuances.
49. 3.These notes/pointers were to be made in the format of:
51. First Page-The Syllabus with the newly added topics (info for the newbeeies, the syllabus
changed from 2008 Mains) highlighted (you can expect increased importance to be allotted
to the newer topics in the exam)and sources referred to for the various sub-topics written
alongwith a mention of whether you have written notes on it or not.
53. This will help you in cross referring the source books when you feel that there is something
missing in your notes when you revise after a long time,or to ask doubts/search for new
material 'cos you would know what you don't know ...very important since this would guide
you in selecting which questions to answer in the final exam hour ( no one is allowed to
ask...is there a choice in the question paper or even worse...how will it guide one in question
55. Second Page-All old questions including the 1980's ones(according to syllabus of
course!)...if you notice some of the really old questions pertain to the newly added
topics...bringing the changes made to a full circle! :)
57. Also, its important to know which sub topic can be interlinked with which other sub topic ,
which sub-topic requires more elaborate reading and note-making and which topics you cant
afford to miss(some questions have been repeatedly asked indirectly or directly...)
59. All of this can only be gathered by a thorough analysis of the questions asked (preferably on
your own) in the previous years so pay attention to the second page too !
61. Third Page- Now your note making starts...the elaborate notes and even pointers should
follow this format :
63. a.Theory/Concept-Who said,What was said and in Which context was it said
65. b.Criticism-Every theoretician/perspective has a critique which points out the lacunae in
the same and at the same time takes it forward...one should be very clear with this aspect.
67. c.Application-
69. In paper 1: Emphasise on case studies usa,uk('cos many studies are available from there!)
or any other foreign country if you have a relevant case study ...but , at the same time do
not forget to connect it to Indian examples.
71. In paper 2 : Emphasis should be placed on Indian Sociologists and application to
Indian context, though here too works of important sociologists(from paper 1) can be
applied .
73. Hence, studying , note making and then answer writing (in the same chronological order
for very obvious reasons!) should be done keeping in mind that paper 1 and paper 2 are not
exclusive of each other but are in fact interlinked and at times even draw sustenance from
each other.
74. 4.The notes would be made preferably in the same format as the answer sheets given in the
upsc mains exam ie A4 blank sheets with space left at both sides(instead of wasting time
making margins with scale and pencil just fold the paper on both sides to give the impression
of a margin) and punched to be put into well organised folders.
76. 5.This organisation of notes may sound like a very very childlike suggestion but it has great
bearing on your revision...remember you are not writing notes to publish them for the benefit
of mankind (which is not a bad idea but not your primary goal!) but to apply them in the
examination, so please revise revise revise(this is not a typo error :) bad joke...still)
78. 6.I would share resources like advice/coaching material/your own notes with another serious
student...its a personal belief that petty competitiveness pulls you down as well.
80. 7.Internet resources (some books have a few pages put out for reading online) and library(D
School,Arts Faculty-Delhi University) resources (through a student) would be used
82. Note :If you get hold of an amazing book for a very small sub-topic and don't have time to go
through it just read the Introduction+Preface...it usually encapsulates the whole argument
84. This was the "how to read" bit... now lets come down now to the "what to read" part :
86. The "How to start" dilemna plagues most of the cse aspirants esp those who did not have a
humanities background....The solution is simple-
88. Start with NCERT XI and XII (old and new editions both)
90. Then for :
92. Paper 1- Refer (in accordance with the syllabus...if time permits you could read the whole
book as well...if nothing else it may help you in the essay or later on in the interview stage):
93. Anthony Giddens-Sociology(I believe the 5th edition is available in India in a
paperback format...expensive book but its usefulness justifies its expense)
95. MacIonis-Sociology(brought to India by Pearsons publications)
97. These books give a basic understanding and at the same time an analysis of more
contemporary topics.
99. Now you could go onto the basic book for Thinkers which is:
101. Francis Abraham and John Henry Morgan-Sociological Thought
103. You should also elaborate upon Thinkers by referring to Ritzer selectively(a must)
105. Some of my friends picked up tit-bits from Lewis Coser and some referred to
Raymond Aron too(optional)
107. For Paper 2- Start with IGNOU BA course material and stick to it! Take care to
mention the case studies considered in the IGNOU booklets in your examination.
109. You should also read:
111. M.N.Srinivas-Social Change in India
113. Yogendra Singh-Modernisation of Indian Tradition
115. Handbook of Indian Sociology-edited by Veena Das (selective reading of the book )
117. J.C.Verma (a NBT publication on Tribals) for the portion on problems faced by
119. I found books like Madan and Mazumdar- Social Anthropology and Horton and Hunt
relevant for prelims only
121. Though one could pick up meaning of terms like culture etc from the Horton and Hunt
book to understand its usage and maybe, apply it in the Essay paper (if it so demands)
123. Now the question arises how to supplement this basic material ?
125. In paper 2 the theory portion should be connected to/updated by egs drawn from real
life /recent case studies covered in magazines like Yojana and Economic and Political
Weekly . You could become an online member of these magazines and avail the benefit of
browsing through their archives.
126. I was too lazy to do this and consequently suffered(thankfully not too badly!) in paper
128. In paper 1 there is an excellent reference book by the name of Haralombos and
Halborn,its detailed,comprehensive and contemporary....unfortunately, reading it is a time
consuming exercise so do it only as a last resort and/or to add value to selective topics(to
avoid meandering away from relevant topics always keep the syllabus by your side)
130. These are the books/resources which I found relevant ..if I later on recall more(not
that you would want me to, once you see the content of some of these books!) I would add
on to this post...
131. Hopefully all of you would come to enjoy Sociology as much as I did (and also get
good marks...very imp! )