Mains Syllabus: Sociology


Fundamentals of Sociology

  1. Sociology – The Discipline:
    • Modernity and social changes in Europe and emergence of sociology.
    • Scope of the subject and comparison with other social sciences.
    • Sociology and common sense.


  1. Sociology as Science:
    • Science, scientific method and critique.
    • Major theoretical strands of research methodology.
    • Positivism and its critique.
    • Fact value and objectivity.
    • Non- positivist methodologies.


  1. Research Methods and Analysis:
    • Qualitative and quantitative methods.
    • Techniques of data collection.
    • Variables, sampling, hypothesis, reliability and validity.


  1. Sociological Thinkers:
    • Karl Marx- Historical materialism, mode of production, alienation, class struggle.
    • Emile Durkheim- Division of labour, social fact, suicide, religion and society.
    • Max Weber- Social action, ideal types, authority, bureaucracy, protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism.
    • Talcolt Parsons- Social system, pattern variables.
    • Robert K. Merton- Latent and manifest functions, conformity and deviance, reference groups.
    • Mead – Self and identity.


  1. Stratification and Mobility:
    • Concepts- equality, inequality, hierarchy, exclusion, poverty and deprivation.
    • Theories of social stratification- Structural functionalist theory, Marxist theory, Weberian theory.
    • Dimensions – Social stratification of class, status groups, gender, ethnicity and race.
    • Social mobility- open and closed systems, types of mobility, sources and causes of mobility.


  1. 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.


  1. Politics and Society:
    • Sociological theories of power.
    • Power elite, bureaucracy, pressure groups, and political parties.
    • Nation, state, citizenship, democracy, civil society, ideology.
    • Protest, agitation, social movements, collective action, revolution.


  1. Religion and Society:
    • Sociological theories of religion.
    • Types of religious practices: animism, monism, pluralism, sects, cults.
    • Religion in modern society: religion and science, secularization, religious revivalism, fundamentalism.


  1. Systems of Kinship:
    • Family, household, marriage.
    • Types and forms of family.
    • Lineage and descent.
    • Patriarchy and sexual division of labour.
    • Lineage and descent.
    • Contemporary trends.


  1. Social Change in Modern Society:
    • Sociological theories of social change
    • Development and dependency.
    • Agents of social change.
    • Education and social change.
    • Science, technology and social change.


Indian Society: Structure and Change

  1. Introducing Indian Society:
    1. Perspectives on the study of Indian society:
      • Indology (GS. Ghurye).
      • Marxist sociology (A R Desai).
      • Structural functionalism (M N Srinivas).
    2. Impact of colonial rule on Indian society:
      • Social background of Indian nationalism.
      • Modernization of Indian tradition.
      • Protests and movements during the colonial period.
      • Social reforms.
  1. Social Structure:
    1. Rural and Agrarian Social Structure:
      • The idea of Indian village and village Studies.
      • Agrarian social structure – evolution of land tenure system, land reforms.
    2. Caste System:
      • Perspectives on the study of caste systems: GS Ghurye, M N Srinivas, Louis Dumont, Andre Beteille.
      • Features of caste system.
      • Untouchability – forms and perspectives.
    3. Tribal communities in India:
      • Definitional problems.
      • Geographical spread.
      • Colonial policies and tribes.
      • Issues of integration and autonomy.
    4. Social Classes in India:
      • Agrarian class structure.
      • Industrial class structure.
      • Middle classes in India.
    5. Systems of Kinship in India:
      • Lineage and descent in India.
      • Types of kinship systems.
      • Family and marriage in India.
      • Household dimensions of the family.
      • Patriarchy, entitlements and sexual division of labour.
    6. Religion and Society:
      • Religious communities in India.
      • Problems of religious minorities.
  1. Introducing Indian Society:
    1. Visions of Social Change in India:
      • Idea of development planning and mixed economy.
      • Constitution, law and social change.
      • Education and social change.
    2. Rural and Agrarian transformation in India:
      • Programmes of rural development, Community Development Programme, cooperatives, poverty alleviation schemes.
      • Green revolution and social change.
      • Changing modes of production in Indian agriculture .
      • Problems of rural labour, bondage, migration.
    3. Industrialization and Urbanisation in India:
      • Evolution of modern industry in India.
      • Growth of urban settlements in India.
      • Working class: structure, growth, class mobilization.
      • Informal sector, child labour.
      • Slums and deprivation in urban areas.
    4. Politics and Society:
      • Nation, democracy and citizenship.
      • Political parties, pressure groups, social and political elite.
      • Regionalism and decentralization of power.
      • Secularization
    5. Social Movements in Modern India:
      • Peasants and farmers movements.
      • Peasants and farmers movements.
      • Women’s movement.
      • Backward classes & Dalit movement.
      • Environmental movements.
      • Backward classes & Dalit movement.
      • Ethnicity and Identity movements.
    6. Population Dynamics:
      • Population size, growth, composition and distribution.
      • Components of population growth: birth, death, migration.
      • Population policy and family planning.
      • Emerging issues: ageing, sex ratios, child and infant mortality, reproductive health.
    7. Challenges of Social Transformation:
      • Crisis of development: displacement, environmental problems and sustainability.
      • Poverty, deprivation and inequalities.
      • Violence against women.
      • Caste conflicts.
      • Ethnic conflicts, communalism, religious revivalism.
      • Illiteracy and disparities in education.
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