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UPSC Sociology Books: Why consulting the standard books is also important.

Sociology, due to its popularity as an UPSC optional has abundance of study material available both online and offline.

Students of sociology at IAS Gurukul also get comprehensive notes from Sir’s dictation and discussions in the class. Apart from this, the additional sociology booklets also have detailed notes. Current affairs can be covered both from the newspapers and Pranay Sir’s printed Current affairs booklet for sociology.

In this scenario, students completely skip the standard UPSC Sociology books. Of course, there is an issue of paucity of time. However, reading the standard UPSC Sociology books, even if only selectively, can also pay rich dividends.

Here are a few reasons why you should go through the UPSC Sociology books at least once:

  • Helps in developing a strong foundation:
  • If you read the standard UPSC Sociology books before attending Pranay Sir’s classes, you may have difficulty in understanding it. However, after the classes, the very same UPSC Sociology books can help you develop a strong base for the subject.

  • Strengthens your weak areas:
  • There might be some particular concepts or ideas of a specific thinker with which you might not be completely comfortable with. You can then consult a standard UPSC sociology book for the purpose. For example, Sociological theory by George Ritzer has a separate chapter for ever thinker. Each chapter provides elaborate details about all the important concepts given by the particular thinker.

  • Provides innumerable examples:
  • Haralombos (both the orange book and the blue book) details every sociological concept with innumerable examples and case studies. These examples will surely remove even the slightest doubt you have regarding any particular sociological theme. You can also use these examples and case studies in your answers.

    However, it is important to selective while making notes from Haralombos. It is an extremely detailed book, so only add as many case studies in your notes, as you will be able to reproduce in the exam..

  • Helps in covering the complete syllabus:
  • Essential sociology by Nitin Sangwan is an excellent UPSC sociology book. It is has been especially written by keeping UPSC in mind. Since it has been written by a successful ex-aspirant, it aligns perfectly with the sociology optional strategy for UPSC.

    It also covers each and every topic and sub topic of the UPSC sociology optional syllabus separately. Hence, covering this UPSC sociology book will help you double check that you have not left any part of the syllabus.

  • Helps in preparation for Paper 2:
  • Paper 2 of sociology optional is slightly more dynamic than Paper1. Apart from Pranay Sir’s class notes, few standard UPSC sociology books can help you develop a general understanding of the demands of paper 2. With this understanding, you can make your own notes from your newspaper and magazine readings.

    Sociology of Indian society by C.N. Shankar Rao and Societal Problems by Ram Ahuja are excellent UPSC sociology books to develop an understanding of sociology of the Indian society.

  • Helps in other mains papers:
  • The excellent and lucid style of UPSC Sociology books in turn help in improving your own answer writing skills as well. The many quotes by various sociological thinkers can be used as excellent introductory lines to your essays as well. They can also act as good conclusions to sum up your essays.

    Various case studies and examples from your standard UPSC sociology books can also help you add a relevant sociological perspective to your answers in GS Paper 1 and even in GS paper 2 to some extent. This in turn will add another element to your multi dimensional approach towards the question.

    Many sociological thinkers are part of the Ethics Paper 4 as well. Getting a comprehensive understanding of these thinkers will help you prepare for multiple papers with the same content.

    Also reading these UPSC Sociology books will definitely help your reading comprehension as well. This will help you in your CSAT paper as well.

    Here is a list of UPSC sociology books you must refer to for the examination:

    Paper 1
    1. Sociology Themes and Perspectives by Haralambos and Holborn
    2. Sociological theory by George Ritzer.
    3. Essential Sociology by Nitin Sangwan.

    Paper 2
    1. Principles of Sociology by C.N. Shankar Rao
    2. Sociology of Indian Society by C.N. Shankar Rao
    3. Societal Problems by Ram Ahuja
    4. Current Affairs for Sociology by Pranay Aggarwal

    UPSC sociology books, even with selective reading, can help you build a strong foundation on which you can develop a good sociology optional strategy. They can act as an anchor in the ocean of materials that is available for the sociology optional presently. This will help you stay relevant to exam, so that you may not sink neck deep into abundant and unnecessary resource materials that the market is presently flooded with.

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