UPSC Sociology: NCERT topicwise notes for those extra marks

There is a common confusion among many UPSC Sociology aspirants.

“I am preparing for UPSC Sociology. I went through the NCERTs, however, I did not find it very useful.” 

That is an interesting thing about NCERT Sociology – we need to attain a certain level of Sociological understanding before we can appreciate the content of these books. There are many candidates who score very good in UPSC Sociology Paper 1, however, struggle in Paper 2. They can go through these books at least 3 times, and replicate the language flow of these books. There are good chances of improvement in score!

Why go for NCERT Sociology books? 

  • Covers many syllabus topics in a straight forward manner.
  • Fodder points for many questions asked in UPSC exam can be found directly in these books (e.g. Discuss the ‘Chipko movement’ as an example of eco-feminism. [2014])
  • There are numerous examples in these books – these examples are highly useful for value addition in answers. These examples relate to events around us – we often fail to appreciate these events from a Sociological perspective, even after preparing full time for UPSC Sociology.
  • Explanations like: Why politics is increasingly becoming intertwined with caste? is difficult to find in other sources.
  • It is a government source – and UPSC gives preference to govt. sources.

How to use these NCERT books?

Please get hardcopy of these books without any second thought. You can get the books here.

You need at least 3 readings of each of these books.

  • Start with Class 12th book. Why? It is explained here. After completing class 12th books, move on to class 11th books. Read it with an open mind.
  • Second reading: open the PDFs given below, for each topic of UPSC Sociology syllabus. Mark the related syllabus topic in the book. Also, keep previous year question by your side. Note down the related question from that topic, in the book itself.
  • Third reading: Revise only the sections you have marked as important in 2nd reading. If you maintain a compilation of hand-written notes, you may take down notes, and compile them.
  • Before every UPSC Mains exam, you can do these follow these two steps for NCERT Sociology-
    • Read the entire books just after Prelims. Repeat this exercise 15 days before Mains. It will help you replicate the language flow of NCERTs in the actual exam. 
    • Just before the exam, revise the handwritten notes, or side notes you have mentioned in the book itself.

Note: For answer to questions like: Write a short note with Sociological perspective on Indira Awas Yojana, Related material can be found here. (Page no. 3 of the book. PDF may show a different page no.)


For, each sub-topic from UPSC syllabus, link to related page no. of the book is given.

If the content of a particular page of the book is related to any topic of UPSC Sociology syllabus, the syllabus topic is mention on that page in the PDF.

Important terms are highlighted in the PDF, for ease of location.

Caution: The page nos. mentioned below are that of the book. PDF reader (like Adobe reader) may show a different page no. You are advised to look for the page no. printed in the PDF.





1. Sociology – The Discipline:

  1. Modernity and social changes in Europe and emergence of sociology. (Page no. 9-13 of this book) Link 2 (Page no. 66 of this book) 
  2. Scope of the subject and comparison with other social sciences. (Page no. 15 of this book) 
  3. Sociology and common sense. (Page no. 7 of the book)

2. Sociology as Science:

  1. Science, scientific method and critique.
  2. Major theoretical strands of research methodology.
  3. Positivism and its critique.
  4. Fact value and objectivity. (Page no. 83 of this book)
  5. Non- positivist methodologies.


3. Research Methods and Analysis: 

Link 1 (Page no. 82 of this book)

  1. Qualitative and quantitative methods. (Page no. 85 of this book)
  2. Techniques of data collection. (Page no. 86 of this book)
  3. Variables, sampling, hypothesis, reliability and validity. 

4. Sociological Thinkers:

  1. Karl Marx (Page no. 69 of this book) – Historical materialism, mode of production (Page no. 71 of this book), alienation (Page no. 12, 70 of this book), class struggle (Page no. 71 of this book) 
  2. Emile Durkheim- Division of labour (Page no. 75, 10 of this book) | Link 2 (Page no. 105 of this book), social fact (Page no. 74 of this book), suicide (Page no. 75 of this book), religion and society. 
  3. Max Weber (Page no. 77 of this book)- Social action, ideal types (Page no. 79 of this book), authority (Page no. 80 of this book) | Link 2 (Page no. 53 of this book) , bureaucracy (Page no. 80 of this book) protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism (Page no. 56 of this book). 
  4. Talcolt Parsons- Social system, pattern variables. 
  5. Robert K. Merton- Latent and manifest functions, conformity and deviance, reference groups (Page no. 30 of the book) | Link 2 (Page no. 24 of this book) 
  6. Mead – Self and identity. 

5. Stratification and Mobility:

Link 2 (Page no. 31 of the book) | Link 2 (Page no. 84 of this book)

  1. Concepts- equality, inequality (Page no. 4 of the book)| Link 2 (Page no. 5, 50 of this book) | Link 3 (Page no. 49, 146 of this book), hierarchy, exclusion (Page no. 86 of this book), poverty and deprivation. (Page no. 83 of this book) 
  2. Theories of social stratification- Structural functionalist theory, Marxist theory, Weberian theory. 
  3. Dimensions – Social stratification of class (page no. 32 of the book), status groups, gender (page no. 44 of the book) | Link 2 (page no. 108 of the book), ethnicity and race. 
  4. Social mobility (Page no. 24 of this book) – open and closed systems, types of mobility, sources and causes of mobility. 

6. Works and Economic Life: 

Link 1 (Page no. 47 of the book)

  1. Social organization of work in different types of society- slave society, feudal society, industrial /capitalist society. 
  2. Formal and informal organization of work. 
  3. Labour and society. 

7. Politics and Society:

Link 1 (Page no. 52 of the book)

  1. Sociological theories of power. 
  2. Power elite (Page no. 40 of this book), bureaucracy, pressure groups (Page no. 51 of this book), and political parties (Page no. 51 of this book) 
  3. Nation, state (Page no. 5 of the book) | Link 2 (Page no. 94 of this book) | Link 3 (Page no. 118, 122 of this book), citizenship (Page no. 53 of this book), democracy, civil society (Page no. 137 of this book), ideology. 
  4. Protest (Page no. 87 of this book), agitation, social movements (Page no. 138 of this book) | Link 2 (Page no. 136 of this book), collective action, revolution.

8. Religion and Society:

Link 1 (Page no. 55 of this book)

  1. Sociological theories of religion. 
  2. Types of religious practices: animism, monism, pluralism, sects, cults. 
  3. Religion in modern society: religion and science, secularization (Page no. 56 of this book) | Link 2 (Page no. 30 of this book), religious revivalism, fundamentalism.

9. Systems of Kinship:

  1. Family, household, marriage. (Page no. 41, 44 of the book) | Link 2 (Page no. 15 of this book)
  2. Types and forms of family (Page no. 42 of the book) | Link 2 (Page no. 58 of this book)
  3. Lineage and descent.
  4. Patriarchy and sexual division of labour. (Page no. 15 of this book)
  5. Contemporary trends. 

10. Social Change in Modern Society: 

Link 1 (Page no. 23, 25, 39 of this book ) || Link 2 (Page no. 21 of this book)

  1. Sociological theories of social change.
  2. Development and dependency.
  3. Agents of social change. (Page no. 25 of this book)
  4. Education and social change.
  5. Science, technology and social change. (Page no. 27 of this book)

Sociology Textbooks for class 11 and 12: Combo of four books




Emergence of Sociology in India (Page no. 14)


A. Introducing Indian Society:

(i) Perspectives on the study of Indian society:

  1. Indology (GS. Ghurye). (Page no. 85 of this book)
  2. Structural functionalism (M N Srinivas). (Page no. 95 of this book) | Link 2 (Page no. 48 of this book)
  3. Marxist sociology (A R Desai).

(ii) Impact of colonial rule on Indian society :

  1. Social background of Indian nationalism.
  2. Modernization of Indian tradition.
  3. Protests and movements during the colonial period. (Page no. 18 of this book)
  4. Social reforms. (Page no. 101 of this book)

B. Social Structure:

(i) Rural and Agrarian Social Structure:

Link 1 (Page no. 58 of this book)

  1. The idea of Indian village and village studies.  (Page no. 97 of this book) | Link 2 (Page no. 91 of this book) || Link 3 (Page no. 13 of this book) 
  2. Agrarian social structure – evolution of land tenure system, land reforms. (Page no. 40 of this book) | Link 2 (Page no. 60 of this book)

(ii) Caste System:

Link 1 (Page no. 31 of the book) | Link 2 (Page no. 42 of this book ) |  | Link 3 (Page no. 87 of this book) | Link 4 (Page no. 32 of this book)

  1. Perspectives on the study of caste systems: GS Ghurye (Page no. 88 of this book), M N Srinivas (Page no. 21 of this book), Louis Dumont, Andre Beteille.
  2. Features of caste system. (Page no. 43 of this book)
  3. Untouchability – forms and perspectives. (Page no. 91 of this book)

(iii) Tribal communities in India: 

Link 1 (Page no. 50 of this book)

  1. Definitional problems.
  2. Geographical spread.
  3. Colonial policies and tribes. (Page no. 86 of this book)
  4. Issues of integration and autonomy. (Page no. 53 of this book) | Link 2 (Page no. 86 of this book)

(iv) Social Classes in India:

  1. Agrarian class structure.
  2. Industrial class structure.
  3. Middle classes in India. (Page no. 47 of this book) || Link 2 (Page no. 8 of this book)

(v) Systems of Kinship in India:

Link 1 (Page no. 56 of this book)

  1. Lineage and descent in India.
  2. Types of kinship systems.
  3. Family and marriage in India. (Page no. 41 of this book)
  4. Household dimensions of the family.
    1. .

(vi) Religion and Society:

  1. Religious communities in India.
  2. Problems of religious minorities. (Page no. 129 of this book)

C. Social Changes in India:

(i) Visions of Social Change in India:

  1. Idea of development planning and mixed economy.
  2. Constitution, law and social change. (Page no. 42 of this book)
  3. Education and social change.

(ii) Rural and Agrarian transformation in India:

Link 1 (Page no. 45, 64 of this book) 

  1. Programmes of rural development, Community Development Programme, cooperatives, poverty alleviation schemes.
  2. Green revolution and social change. (Page no. 62 of this book) 
  3. Changing modes of production in Indian agriculture .
  4. Problems of rural labour, bondage (Page no. 64 of this book) , migration (Page no. 35 of this book) | Link 2 (Page no. 67 of this book) 

(iii) Industrialization and Urbanisation in India:

Link 1 (Page no. 39 of this book) || Link 2 (Page no. 3, 75 of the book)

  1. Evolution of modern industry in India.
  2. Growth of urban settlements in India.
  3. Working class: structure, growth, class mobilization. (Page no. 72 of this book) |(Working class movement) (Page no. 150 of the book)
  4. Informal sector, child labour.
  5. Slums and deprivation in urban areas. (Page no. 43 of this book)

(iv) Politics and Society:

  1. Nation, democracy and citizenship.
  2. Political parties, pressure groups , social and political elite.
  3. Regionalism and decentralization of power.(Page no. 124 of this book)
  4. Secularization (Page no. 135 of this book)

(v) Social Movements in Modern India:

  1. Peasants and farmers movements. (Page no. 15 of this book) | Link 2 (Page no. 148 of the book)
  2. Women’s movement.  (Page no. 157 of the book)
  3. Backward classes & Dalit movement. (Page no. 152 of the book)
  4. Environmental movements. (Page no. 145 of the book)
  5. Ethnicity and Identity movements. (Page no. 155 of the book)

(vi) Population Dynamics:

Link 1: (Page no. 10 of this book)

  1. Population size, growth, composition and distribution.
  2. Components of population growth: birth, death, migration. (Page no. 14 of this book)
  3. Population policy and family planning.(Page no. 36 of this book)
  4. Emerging issues: ageing, sex ratios (Page no. 28 of this book), child and infant mortality, reproductive health.

(vii) Challenges of Social Transformation:

  1. Crisis of development: displacement, environmental problems (Page no. 50 of this book) and sustainability.
  2. Poverty, deprivation and inequalities (Page no. 50 of this book)
  3. Violence against women. (Page no. 15 of this book)
  4. Caste conflicts.
  5. Ethnic conflicts, communalism (Page no. 15 of this book) | Link 2 (Page no. 133 of this book), religious revivalism.
  6. Illiteracy and disparities in education.

Sociological terms (Page no. 24 of the book)

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One thought on “UPSC Sociology: NCERT topicwise notes for those extra marks

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  1. Thank you so much sir…..U r doing a precious job by helping freshers who need mentor….Thnx for being mentor for many needy students like me🤗📖


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