One of the very common optional subjects that UPSC aspirants choose is sociology. Many candidates join sociology online classes for IAS. The optional papers are divided into two, with each containing 250 marks. Every year, more than 2000 candidates choose sociology for some specific reasons:
The sociology syllabus is less compared to other subjects.
Few topics in the sociology syllabus are covered in the GS paper.
Sociology is a scoring subject.
Studying sociology as an optional subject does not require any background knowledge.
Besides joining the sociology online classes, one needs to undertake specific strategies for completing the syllabus. Given below are some tips that you can follow to complete the UPSC sociology syllabus.
Analyze the syllabus
Before you start studying sociology topic-wise, every IAS aspirant needs to go through the syllabus thoroughly and analyze it. Start preparing by studying one topic after another so that you do not miss out on anything. Further, once you know the syllabus by heart, you will never study anything irrelevant or unnecessary.
Rely on IGNOU books
When preparing for UPSC, you must have heard of IGNOU books. These IGNOU books cover each and every topic that is present in sociology papers I and II. To have a clear idea about the concepts, reading the IGNOU books is a must. This will help you to revise well.
Topics to begin with
Most aspirants are confused about which topic they should start with. If you have to understand the fundamentals of sociology, start with Haralambos and Holborn’s ‘Sociology: Themes and Perspectives.’ When reading the textbooks of sociology, you will come across a lot of case studies discussed well. Not reading these case studies is undoubtedly a bad idea. The more you read and understand these case studies, the better you will write your paper.
Pay attention to the ‘thinkers’
The UPSC sociology syllabus covers the philosophies of six important thinkers, namely – Karl Marx, Max Weber, Emilie Durkheim, Robert Merton, Talcott Parson, and Herbert Mead. The UPSC aspirants must go through all these theories in detail. The better you understand the theories, the better will you be able to write answers.
Tips for sociology paper II
The second paper of sociology mainly focuses on India and the latest events that have occurred here. So, to know about the recent events, you need to read the newspapers every day. Note down those events from where possible questions can come. Some of the essential issues that this paper deals with include gender, caste issues, Indian values and culture, tribal issues, Indian society, etc.
How to write sociology answers?
As the optional paper is descriptive, one needs to know to write answers in sociology. There are some strategies for write good and error-free answers in sociology. They are as follows:
Since every answer has a prescribed word limit, the candidates should ensure not to cross it by any means. Writing too long answers is not going to fetch lots of marks. Examiners look for to-the-point answers.
When writing answers, use important quotations of thinkers both for the paper I and II to enrich your answer. Also, the examiner needs to know how knowledgeable you are.
To make the answer more informative and attractive, draw relevant diagrams to discuss the answers in detail.
Try to answer critically, meaning, use criticism in answers to maintain the balance its balance.
To make the answer easily readable by the examiner, underline the keywords.
Therefore, sociology is indeed an easy optional subject to crack, provided you adopt the correct strategy. Candidates must have an interest in the subject. Otherwise, the theories may appear tedious.