Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Sociology Pointers

Part 1 of Sociology is more theoretical and thus you cannot add much from the current affairs.

1. Sociology - The Discipline:

With regard to European modernity, rule is – intellectual change led to institutional change will led to technological change. This will automatically give answer to any question on European modernity
Secondly, relation with various field is very simple and there is always harmonious relation between sociology and other sciences and consider all other fields as static in your conclusion and how they are taking sociological methods to put dynamism in their field.
Sociology and common sense is nothing but the debate between positivist and critical or non positivist.

2. Sociology as Science:

There are mainly three methologies: Positivists, Non- positivist and Critical. The former emphasis on scientific methods : fact, objectivity; later on intellectual method through the application of mind which can never be measured (subjectivity), while non positivist refer to facts collected and applying their mind to come to conclusion (dynamic, values, interpretation).

3. Research Methods and Analysis

Methods can be read from haralambos

4. Sociological Thinkers:

Give extra time to understand rather than cramming. You will not be required to put same energy next time. Thinkers are most important and understand their theories thoroughly

5. Stratification and Mobility:

Refereed to Mahapatra Sir notes. No need for studying this if one has already done the theories. One can use marx, weber, parson, kate millet, srinivas, louie Dumont, A, beteille.

6. Works and Economic Life:

Did not find any relevant material on that.

7. Politics and Society:

Haralambos chapter on power is best for this.

8. Religion and Society:

       Approach on theories:
       1.    Evolutionary
       2.    Functional form of religion (Parson)
       3.    Marxist
       4.    Symbolic
       5.    Functional and dysfunctional

9. Systems of Kinship:

Notes of Mahapatra Sir. Donot refer much on kinship. Only try to read particular topics.

10. Social Change in Modern Society:

This chapter is mainly about change. There are some theories which can be understood easily.

In paper 1, maintain flow as functional -> Marxist -> interpretative (hermeneutic) -> critical -> structural functionalist -> phenomenology

Part 2 of sociology comprises of sociology of India. There are various dimensions you can add based on current realities in our society.

1.    Whatever you write, always remembers that there is nothing wrong in that (except theories). Therefore do not worry about the criticality of your answer
2.    Try to put some dynamism in the answer. Never relate to the specific scholars. Add some reports (not necessarily data) or findings.
3.    Write the exact nature of social issues and don’t create a rosy picture. But yes, try to give balanced answer in the end.
4.    Always follow phenomenological approach. (for ex : sociology of flower : it carry economic value, from political perspective, it can be used as election symbol; from religious perspective, it can be used to worship god; it carries aesthetic value as well; or I used to express love.)
5.    Always take the different opinions expressed in the editorials of newspapers or some opinion of our political leaders to show chauvinism with regard to female issues. You can put forward the name of editor, newspaper.
For ex

6.    Always interpret things from multi dimensional perspective.


  1. hello sir,
    I am preparing for UPSC CSE 2015. I have Sociology as a optional. I am not in condition to join coaching classes for Sociology, so I wants to study my own.
    Actually, I have taken admission for MA Sociology in IGNOU. I have already started reading NCETR & Haralambos(orange). I find it intersting, I am able to understand concepts from this books. So, I thought firstly complete this readings & then start answering some questions from Insights/Previous UPSC question papers on this topics. And same like for diff. topics as well. Is this ok or I have to add 'something extra' to this...??
    Please, can you suggest me different ways to approach toward Sociology.

    eagerly waiting......

    Thanks. :)

  2. These books are good especially haralambos but there is much more than that. U can ask for postal material of coaching because they mention different scholars and names which is necessary

  3. Sir, Postal material of which institute would be better?

  4. As you said

    In paper 1, maintain flow as functional -> Marxist -> interpretative (hermeneutic) -> critical -> structural functionalist -> phenomenology
    what do you mean by it

    Also when i read haralambos , I am unable to find the syllabus
    Another issue like Take example of religion chapter , which is CH 7 in haralambos
    you are saying here approach to be followed

    Approach on theories:
    1. Evolutionary
    2. Functional form of religion (Parson)
    3. Marxist
    4. Symbolic
    5. Functional and dysfunctional
    I am unable to comprehend this either