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Sociology as a wise optional

The marks allotted for optional subject in UPSC exam is 500 marks out of the total. A wrong choice of optional can lead you to score low marks and hence your chances of selection may be compromised. Since last few years Sociology optional has emerged as the most safe and popular optional chosen by a multitude of aspirants in the UPSC mains exam.

The success ratio has been exemplary for this optional. As far as the marks are concerned, one can fetch 315 to 350 marks in this optional. Other benefit associated with this optional is that it has a huge overlap with General Studies syllabus in mains exam so it will save your precious time for general studies paper. The subject owing to its roots in society can help you in personality test too where a lot of questions arise on societal problems and issues. 

Advantages of Sociology Optional

1. Scoring Potential

From the previous trends it can be inferred that Sociology as an optional for UPSC mains has a high scoring potential and this is one of the main reasons behind its popularity. The sociology optional is having a high success ratio too and many of the toppers with this optional is a testimony of this. Average marks in sociology is 250+ marks

2. Short Syllabus

Having a comparatively short and concise syllabus, the entire coverage can be done within a short span of 3-4 months, approximately 300 hours of syllabus.

    3. Abundance of Study Material

    There is no shortage of abundance of study material or resources related to this optional. Both online and offline material is in excess and can be utilized from multiple platforms.

      4. No Background Required

      Academic background has no boundation for this optional so all candidates irrespective of their background can choose this optional with little or no knowledge of sociology. This subject is often in limelight in newspapers due to concepts like family, religion, etc.

      5. Overlapping With General Studies and Other Papers

      There are 10 topics in paper amongst which 4 overlaps with paper 2 such as kinship, social change, Politics and Society, Religion and Society.

      Almost the entire prelims preparation is Indian Society-centric and as a result, we are aware of important changes in society, whether it be government schemes or Landmark Court judgements, this automatically takes care of any dynamic elements in the subject too.

       Sociology paper-2 Poverty, Deprivation and Inequality, Illiteracy and disparity, Communalism, Sex ratio, IMR, MMR, Reproductive Health and Democracy, Nation, Citizenship, secularization, Regionalism, Informal sector, Child labour, Education and social change, Green Revolution, Community Development Programs, Poverty Alleviation Schemes, Rural Development.

      GS and other papers like essay find a huge overlapping with sociology optional. For an example, in General Studies Paper 1, about 40-50 marks can be extracted from sociology related topics.

      Similarly, for General Studies Paper 2 can be found coherent with issues like welfare initiatives, depressed and vulnerable section related issues, NGOs and other welfare institutions, issues related to poverty and hunger etc.

      General Studies Paper 3 is linked with issues like Land reforms in India, Comprehensive development and issues emerging from it, Naxalism and Maoism and its effect on the society, Globalization, Industrialization and privatization and its impact on society etc.

      General Studies paper 4 has many common areas with Sociology optional such as Human Values, role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating values; reformers and administrators, lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders.

      In the similar manner there are many overlapping areas in sociology syllabus with the syllabus of essay.

      The subject to owing to its roots in society can help you in personality test too where a lot of questions arise on societal problems and issues.

      Our Distinct Vision, “MITRA” Your Friend

      ”MITRA” Approach : We strive for an approach which is collaborative, cooperative, comprehensive and a compassionate FRIEND, Your MITRA.

      An approach of reverse engineering.

      We will start with analysing the previous years question papers and based on that requirements of UPSC, we intend to approach the micro topics of sociology optional.

      For example in paper 1, Thinkers, Social Stratification, Emergence of Sociology, Common Sense, Techniques of Data Collection forms a substantial part of sociology.

      Using Scholars and theories of paper 1 in paper 2,and using Indian society specific examples in paper 1.

      Showcasing the examiner that how the Sociological ideas are currently related and applicable in society is a prime necessity for fetching a maximum marks in Sociology. Examples from case studies, newspapers, reports or real life are to be quoted.

      Interlinking of syllabus (both micro and macro topics) of paper 1 and 2…

      …such as Showing the impact of Sanskritization in politics and society, social change of paper Using emile durkheim’s concepts of Solidarity and collective conscience, Alienation by Marx in paper 2.

      Theories of Social Stratification’, which is a part of chapter 5 is linked to chapter 2. of Chapter 7, which is ‘Politics and Society’, has a topic on sociological theories of power which can be linked to Weberian and Marxian theories of power.

      Chapter 8 has topic ‘Sociological theories on religion’ which is inter-linked to Weber and Durkheim.

      Paper 2 is dynamic in nature and mostly deals with Indian aspects.

      The questions which are asked in paper 2 are current based and dynamic in nature. Hence, a blend of sociological and current affairs is necessary while answering questions for this paper. For Paper II, you should also remember that the newspapers are an important source of answers.

      Consolidation of your knowledge shall be a mix of current affairs and static portion. Topics like Informal sector, child labour, Slums and deprivation in urban areas, Violence against women, Poverty, deprivation and inequalities, Regionalism and decentralization of power, Secularization etc can be supplemented with current affairs news.

      Study Material

      We intend to provide you comprehensive material and selective guidance related to “what to read, how to read and how much to read ” in a very systematic manner. So that the answer looks multidimensional, distinct, dynamic and unique.

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      Dealing with demands of UPSC

      The faculty of this course puts seamless efforts to fulfil the demands of UPSC Sociology optional. We have dedicatedly developed a smart, systematic and simple approach in dealing with this 500 marks gamechanger optional subject.

      The class paradigm will follow :

      1. Previous year question paper analysis and in depth understanding of UPSC demands.
      2. Initial basic understanding of the topic which is to be followed by the dictation in a summarised manner.
      3. MINDMAPS based on that summarised dictation understanding of the topic.
      4. printed material at the last for better understanding and self reading by the students.

      Books can be referred for the fundamentals

      • Indian Society: NCERT Class Xl Sociology: Understanding Society
      • Indian Society: NCERT Class XII Indian Society
      • Indian Society: NCERT Class XII Social Change and Development in India

      Advanced Level

      • Sociology Themes and Perspectives • Michael Haralambos, Martin Holborn
      • Society In India: Concepts, Theories And Recent Trends Ram Ahuja
      • Social Problems In India Ram Ahuja
      • Sociology Anthony Giddens
      • Sociological Theory George Ritzer
      • Oxford Dictionary Of Sociology
      • Modernization Of Indian Tradition Yogendra Singh
      • Sociological Thought Francis Abraham, John Henry Morgan
      • Social Change In Modern India M. N. SRINIVAS
      • Caste Its Twentieth Century Avatar M. N. SRINIVAS
      • Persistence and Change in Tribal India M.V. Rao
      • Social Background of Indian Nationalism A. R. Desai
      • Social Change in Modern India MN Srinivas
      • Indian Sociological Thought BK Nagla

       For current aspects of Sociology, EPW magazine can be referred which is a good compilation of society-related articles.

      Our Approach for a High Score

      Case studies conducted by various social researchers have their own role in paper-2. Inclusion of case studies in your answers make it more readable and authentic in nature.

      Besides this it also makes your answer different and unique and hence possibility to score gets higher. Hence a Separate strategy is required for value addition and substantiations in dynamic portions of paper 2 for inculcating a distinct answer writing Skills into the candidate.

      We need to quote a few relevant and current facts, figures, case studies and recommendations of reports/commissions. Real-life examples are of utmost importance in this paper. For example, when you talk about the problem of religious minorities in India, you can cite the recent SC verdict on triple talaq. On issues of patriarchy, you can give the skewed sex ratios of various states in India and relate it to development, women empowerment, etc.

       For example, take a look at the following question from Paper I-

      • Elaborate on the “Me Too” movement and its impact in India.

      This question, based on current affairs, has many aspects to it. Answering this question requires multiple dimensions from the fields of psychology, sexual harassment in the workplace and its prevention (polity, law), feminism, the idea of consent, social hierarchies, gender roles, etc.

      Now, look at another question from Paper II –

      • Indebtedness is one of the serious issues leading to farmers’ suicides. Discuss reasons and suggest solutions.

      Here also, you have to talk about various aspects of farmers’ suicides like the agricultural distress in India, vagaries of the monsoons and its effect on our farmers, mental health of Indians, etc. Here, you should also talk about what Durkheim had to say about suicides.

      Other Examples

      • Under Changing Forms of Marriage, ‘marriage • divorce remarriage’ is one pattern visible in urban setting. However, you can use the term Serial Monogamy, to refer the same.
      • Similarly, for topics such as Modernity in India and Middle Class in India you can always incorporate concepts such as Conspicuous Consumption, Value Conflict among Middle class etc.
      • There are many events around us which break the notion of patriarchy and signify women empowerment. Ex: Induction of women into armed forces
      • Law and social change Recent Maternity Benefit Act and Provision of creche services.
      • Some social conflicts Caste conflicts, Communal violence in news etc
      • Environment movements, social movements (LGBT, RTI, Anti-Corruption)

      In sociology, you can embellish your answers by including relevant diagrams and flowcharts. Prepare a few for standard topics and concepts so that you can use them in the exam. On every topic, develop points from both sides of the spectrum (positive and negative) and present a balanced picture. Your conclusions must be futuristic, realistic and positively oriented.



       Features of the Program :

      • The programme will be launched both in Delhi and Jaipur centers.
      • Personalized feedback, comments from the faculty will be provided over both ONLINE/ OFFLINE mode.
      • Timely Detailed discussion and Analysis by expert faculty and Step by Step guidance to aspirants
      • Material will be provided in Hardcopy ONLY to offline students and Softcopy to online students.
      • UPSC exam pattern – includes 6 sectional and 4 full length tests including All India Open Test ) Validity – till 2023 Mains
      • Flexibility of Postponement – Aspirants can attempt test papers as per their convenience.

      Join Now and secure your optional preparation