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Sociology Optional Foundation 2023

By : Smriti Rao

Sociology optional is one of the well-known and oft-chosen optional subjects in UPSC CSE. The nature of the syllabus and its significant overlap with GS Society, Essay, Ethics, and in small measures other GS papers renders it a unique quality of being a super subject. GS SCORE’S Sociology Optional Foundation is a 3.5 Months Comprehensive Class to Cover the Complete UPSC Syllabus of Sociology with the innovative methodology of teaching and application of different approaches mentioned in the syllabus. The sheer utilitarian value of the optional helps not just in the overall enhancement of knowledge but also covers most parts of the UPSC Syllabus.

Batch Started: 16th August

12:00 Noon to 2:30 PM


  • 3.5 Months course for complete and comprehensive coverage of Entire Syllabus
  • Interactive and immersive classes to enhance one’s grasp over the subject
  • Special Emphasis on Interlinkage of Paper 1 and Paper 2
  • Test Series Including 12 Tests (8 Sectional & 4 Mock)
  • Discussion of previous year Papers
  • Crisp and relevant study material
  • Personalised Mentorship


Sociology as an Optional

Sociology optional is one of the well-known and oft chosen optional subjects in UPSC CSE. The nature of the syllabus and its significant overlap with GS Society, Essay, Ethics, and in small measures other GS papers renders it a unique quality of being a super subject. Even then, it is only with meticulous preparation and integrated learning, that one makes it to the top.

Our Approach

To manifest results in sociology optional aspirants need be observe and contemplate on the 2 stilts that the UPSC examination stands on: Preparation and Presentation

Preparation for UPSC Optional requires perseverance, but most importantly a comprehensive strategy. Through interactive and immersive class lectures, we aim to enhance one’s grasp over the subject, with particular focus on the Examinee’s mindset:

  • Strengthening fundamental Sociology – Sociological Thinkers and Concepts. Application of fundamentals: how to use the same information in multiple areas.
  • Nurture analytical bent of mind – Understand Cause effect, pretext to situation, and possible outcomes – Interlinkage of Paper 1 and Paper 2.
  • Core and Periphery – Core forms the foundational pillars which are Non negotiable.
    Periphery can be enhanced through thorough revision of current affairs. The paper consists of a basic discussion on social institutions and social structure, which forms the Core of your preparation. However, without thorough conceptual clarity, the peripheral questions cannot be tackled. Therefore it is imperative to understand the interconnectedness. 
  • Sociological Imagination to tackle dynamic questions. Often questions seem to come from ‘hidden syllabus’. To be better prepared for oddballs, class discussions provide room for intellectual stimulation and direct one to effective engagement with the syllabus.
  • Cut the Clutter
    We provide maximum analysis in minimum words. The hidden gem of sociologically understanding is multidimensionality.
  • Effective Note making
    Due to paucity of time, one doesn’t find it feasible to read bulky standard books. While there is no short cut in the examination process, our classroom discussions act as a catalyst to comprehensive preparation. Furthermore, we focus on incorporating a hybrid of case studies, surveys, appropriate examples, and diagrams through classroom discussions.

In the end, it all boils down to concrete, actionable fructifying preparation and quantifiable results. Preparation without Presentation renders itself null and void in the arduous journey of the examination. Effective presentation can be achieved by understanding the Examiner’s Mindset.

  • The examiner looks for Analytical ability rather than the ability to mug up facts. Facts and figures are used to validate the argument, however without analysis, they cannot build your argument.
  • Conceptual Clarity – Make a balanced judgment of key points.
    Write in minimal words, avoid repetition
    Quality over Quantity
  • Structure – Is essential as the examiner observes coherence in presentation. Understand the flow of the argument and identify key aspects.
  • Presentation – If the question is broke into sections, determine which section carries what weightage. Appropriate elaboration is key.
  • Simple plan – Introduction – Body – Conclusion

The Examiner’s mindset is perhaps easy to describe but difficult to understand. This is where we provide exhaustive answer writing practice through systematic and well-crafted test series.

Answer writing under pressure and examination like conditions: Mock tests to assess how you perform under pressure.

Evaluation of answers drives a direction to your preparation.

To achieve peak performance – Practice makes the exam doable.  

Course Fee

₹ 37000/-

online Fee

₹ 42000/-

offline Fee

₹ 37000

Online Fee

₹ 42000

Offline Fee




1. Sociology - The Discipline:

(a) Modernity and social changes in Europe and emergence of sociology.
(b) Scope of the subject and comparison with other social sciences.
(c) Sociology and common sense.

2. Sociology as Science:

(a) Science, scientific method and critique.
(b) Major theoretical strands of research methodology.
(c) Positivism and its critique.
(d) Fact value and objectivity.
(e) Non- positivist methodologies.

3. Research Methods and Analysis:

(a) Qualitative and quantitative methods.
(b) Techniques of data collection.
(c) Variables, sampling, hypothesis, reliability and validity.

4. Sociological Thinkers:

(a) Karl Marx- Historical materialism, mode of production, alienation, class struggle.
(b) Emile Durkheim- Division of labour, social fact, suicide, religion and society.
(c) Max Weber- Social action, ideal types, authority, bureaucracy, protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism.
(d) Talcolt Parsons-   Social system, pattern variables.
(e) Robert K. Merton- Latent and manifest functions, conformity and  deviance, reference groups
(f) Mead   - Self and identity.

5. Stratification and Mobility:

(a) Concepts- equality, inequality, hierarchy, exclusion, poverty and  deprivation
(b) Theories of social stratification- Structural functionalist theory, Marxist theory, Weberian theory.
(c) Dimensions – Social stratification of class, status groups, gender, ethnicity     and race.
(d) Social mobility- open and closed systems, types of mobility, sources and causes of mobility.

6. 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.

7. Politics and Society:

(a)  Sociological theories of power
(b)  Power elite, bureaucracy, pressure groups, and political parties.
(c)   Nation, state, citizenship, democracy, civil society, ideology.
(d)   Protest, agitation, social movements, collective action, revolution.

8. Religion and Society:

(a)   Sociological theories of religion.
(b)   Types of religious practices: animism, monism, pluralism, sects, cults.
(c) Religion in modern society: religion and science, secularization, religious revivalism, fundamentalism.

9. Systems of Kinship:

(a)   Family, household, marriage.
(b)   Types and forms of family.
(c)   Lineage and descent
(d)   Patriarchy and sexual division of labour
(e)   Contemporary trends.

10. Social Change in Modern Society:

(a)   Sociological theories of social change.
(b)   Development and dependency.
(c)   Agents of social change.
(d)   Education and social change.
(e)   Science, technology and social change.




1. Introducing Indian Society:

(i) Perspectives on the study of Indian society:

(a) Indology  (GS. Ghurye).
(b) Structural functionalism  (M N Srinivas).
(c) Marxist sociology  ( A R Desai).

(ii) Impact of colonial rule on Indian society :

(a) Social background of Indian nationalism.
(b) Modernization of Indian tradition.
(c) Protests and movements during the colonial period.
(d) Social reforms

2. Social Structure:

(i) Rural and Agrarian Social Structure:

(a) The idea of Indian village and village studies-
(b) Agrarian social structure -
evolution of land tenure system,  land reforms.

(ii) Caste System:

(a) Perspectives on the study of caste systems: GS Ghurye, M N Srinivas, Louis Dumont, Andre Beteille.
(b) Features of caste system.
(c) Untouchability - forms and perspectives

(iii) Tribal communities in India:

(a) Definitional problems.
(b) Geographical spread.
(c) Colonial policies and tribes.
(d) Issues of integration and autonomy.

(iv) Social Classes in India:

(a) Agrarian class structure.
(b) Industrial class structure.
(c) Middle classes in India.

(v) Systems of Kinship in India:

(a) Lineage and descent in India.
(b) Types of kinship systems.
(c) Family and marriage in India.
(d) Household dimensions of the family.
(e) Patriarchy, entitlements and sexual division of labour.

(vi) Religion and Society:

(a) Religious communities in India.
(b) Problems of religious minorities.

3. Social Changes in India:

(i) Visions of Social Change in India:

(a) Idea of development planning and mixed economy.
(b) Constitution, law and social change.
(c) Education and social change.

(ii) Rural and Agrarian transformation in India:

(a) Programmes of rural development, Community Development Programme, cooperatives, poverty alleviation schemes.
(b) Green revolution and social change.
(c) Changing modes of production in Indian agriculture .
(d) Problems of rural labour, bondage, migration.

(iii) Industrialization and Urbanisation in India:

(a) Evolution of modern industry in India.
(b) Growth of urban settlements in India.
(c) Working class: structure, growth, class mobilization.
(d) Informal sector, child labour
(e) Slums and deprivation in urban areas.

(iv) Politics and Society:

(a) Nation, democracy and citizenship.
(b) Political parties, pressure groups , social and political elite.
(c) Regionalism and decentralization of power.
(d) Secularization

(v) Social Movements in Modern India:

(a) Peasants and farmers movements.
(b) Women’s movement.
(c) Backward classes & Dalit movement.
(d) Environmental movements.
(e) Ethnicity and Identity movements.

(vi) Population Dynamics:

(a) Population size, growth, composition and distribution.
(b) Components of population growth: birth, death, migration.
(c) Population policy and family planning.
(d) Emerging issues: ageing, sex ratios, child and infant mortality, reproductive health.

(vii) Challenges of Social Transformation:

(a)  Crisis of development: displacement, environmental problems and sustainability.
(b) Poverty, deprivation and inequalities.
(c) Violence against women.
(d) Caste conflicts.
(e) Ethnic conflicts, communalism, religious revivalism.
(f) Illiteracy and disparities in education.


Online Class
  • To enroll student has to register on the website using Registration Form or Google Login or Facebook Login.
  • If already registered login with your username and password which you have used for registration.
  • Account for Online Classes will be activated within one working day of Enrollment or before batch Starts.
  • Classes will be conducted online as per the class schedule.
  • Weekly Class Schedule will be uploaded into students account with session plan and doubt clearing sessions schedule.
  • Study Material is into two formats i.e. printed and pdf.
  • Printed Study Material, if any will be dispatched by courier within a week of enrollment.
  • Soft Copy notes will be uploaded in PDF format into your account.
Doubt Clearing
  • One on one doubt clearing session will be conducted with concern faculties on Google Meet as per schedule.
  • Students can put their doubts in chat box given into their account with each session.
  • Students can also interact with faculty though phone or whatsApp for doubt clearing.
  • After evaluation of mains test copy, one on one discussion with respective faculty will be done on phone.
Sociology Test Series
  • Tests will be uploaded in PDF format in your account.
  • To write the test students have to download the PDF of test paper booklet or write the test in A4 sheet with proper spacing as per UPSC pattern. After writing the test send us back scanned copy in pdf format for evaluation.
  • Further evaluated test copy will be sent back to the students within 15 days after receiving the answer sheet.
  • Test discussion video will be uploaded into your account on the scheduled test date.
  • Once student will receive evaluated copy, one to one discussion with concerned faculty/experts will be arranged via phone call or live interaction.

Verifying, please be patient.

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