This article covers Eighth edition of the book.
Harlambos & Holborn (Blue book) is one of the highly recommended sources for Paper 1 of UPSC Sociology. Please keep in mind that this book was not written for UPSC preparation. Hence, you MUST keep syllabus and previous year questions by your side while reading the book. It would help you read only the required portions, not the entire 1098 pages.
WHY and HOW you should read this book?
- Though, there is no single book that covers all topics of UPSC Sociology syllabus, this book covers maximum topics.
- It is a thick book because the concepts are explained in an easy-to-understand and simple manner. There are numerous examples and case studies. If you think your concept is clear after reading a couple of case studies, you can skip the remaining ones.
- Read SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION at the end of every chapter.
- There are too many statistics, case studies etc. – please ignore them. They were more relevant in the times of 60-markers.
- If you plan to make it the CORE BOOK for UPSC Sociology, you can highlight important portions in the book itself. For revision you can go through the highlighted portions only. [Recommended]
- If this book is not your CORE BOOK for UPSC Sociology preparation, you can make notes in the second reading.
Caution: There is no point reading any book if you cannot revise it.
Important topics and page numbers of Haralambos and Holborn (blue book) are given below.
Chapter 0. Introduction: Sociological perspective
Chapter 1. Stratification, class and inequality
>Introduction (Page no. 21) -to- Taxation and wealth (Page no. 47)
>Middle class, or middle classes? (Page no. 57) -to- End of chapter (Page no. 93)
Chapter 2. Sex and Gender
>Introduction (Page no. 95) to Social construction of gender roles (Page no. 102)
>Gender Inequality (Page no. 104) -to- Gender regimes, patriarchy and the future of feminism (Page no. 120)
>Ann Oakley – Gender on Planet Earth (Page no. 127) -to- Explanations for gender inequalities in employment (Page no. 133)
Chapter 3: ‘Race’, ethnicity and nationality
>Introduction (Page no. 155) -to- Race (156)
>Migration and Assimilation (Page no. 166) -to- Racism (Page no. 185) Also, helpful in Paper 2 topic – MIGRATION
>Nationalism and identity (Page no. 206 to first column of Page no. 209)
>Modernity, post-modernity, racism and identity (Page no. 216 – 217)
>Minority ethnic groups in the labour market and stratification system (Page no. 221) -to- Race, ethnicity, social policy and social theory (first column of Page no. 226)
Chapter 4: Poverty, social exclusion and the welfare state
>Introduction (Page no. 231 to 242)
>Social exclusion (Page no. 246 to 265)
>Conflict theories of poverty and social exclusion (Page no. 269) – to- first two paragraphs of Page no. 280.
>The welfare state (Page no. 282-283)
>Marxist perspectives on the welfare state (Page no. 289 – 291)
>Neo-liberal perspective on welfare state (Page no. 291 -to- first paragraph of Page no. 292)
>Feminist perspective on welfare ((Page no. 298-299)
Chapter 6: Crime and deviance
>Introduction (Page no. 347) -to- Structural and subcultural theories of deviance (Page no. 352)
>Deviance – an interactionist perspective (Page no. 361) -to- Deviance – neo-Marxist and radical perspectives (Page no. 371)
Chapter 7: Religion
>Introduction (Page no. 431 – first paragraph of 437)
>Religion and social change (Page no. 446 – 465)
>Secularisation (Page no. 473 – 499)
>Religion and science (Page no. 504 – 507)
Chapter 8: Families, households and personal life
>Introduction (Page no. 509) -to- Conjugal role (Page no. 559)
Chapter 9: Power, politics and the state
>Introduction (Page no. 579) -to- Neo-Marxist approaches to power and the state (Page no. 601)
>Luke Martell – globalisation, the nation-state and democracy (Page no. 613-615)
>Postmodernism, politics and power (Page no. 620-621)
>New social movements and the new politics (Page no. 623-631)
Chapter 10: Education
>Introduction (Page no. 663) -to- Education-social democratic perspectives (Page no. 675)
Chapter 11: Culture, socialisation and identity
>Socialisation (Page no. 753 – 759)
Chapter 13: Age and the life course
>Later life and old age (Page no. 872 – 877) [Useful in Paper 2 topic: Emerging issues: ageing]
Chapter 14: Methodology
Chapter 15: Sociological theory
Introduction (Page no. 953) -to- Sociology and the environment (Page no. 997)
If you are reading this book, you can skip the ORANGE BOOK by Haralambos and Heald. Multiple revisions are important to internalise the concepts. It would also help in easy reproduction and inter-relation of topics in application-based questions.
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