UPSC Sociology 2021: Were our programs helpful? Evidence-based analysis

This articles goes through every single question of UPSC Sociology 2021 – paper 1 and paper 2 – and analyses the relevance of our programs.

Paper 1: UPSC Sociology 2021

UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
1(a) Europe was the first and the only place where modernity emerged. Comment. 10 

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UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
1(b) Do you think ethnomethodology helps in getting reliable and valid data? Justify your answer.
10

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UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
1(c) Discuss the challenges involved in collecting data through census method.  10

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UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
1(d) Explain whether Durkheim’s theory of Division of Labour is relevant in the present day context.  10 

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UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
1(e) Critically examine Max Weber’s theory of Social Stratification.

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UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
2(a) From the viewpoint of growing importance of multidisciplinarity, how do you relate sociology to other social sciences?  20

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UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
2(b) How far are sociologists justified in using positivist approach to understand social reality? Explain with suitable illustrations.

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UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
2(c) How is sociology related to common sense? 

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UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
3(a) How do qualitative and quantitative methods supplement each other in sociological enquiry?

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UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
3(b) Critically examine the dialectics involved in each mode of production as propounded by Karl Marx.

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UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
3(c) Do you agree with Max Weber’s idea that bureaucracy has the potential to become an iron cage? Justify your answer.  10

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UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
4(a) Explain the concept of social mobility. Describe with suitable illustrations how education and social mobility are related to each other.

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UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
4(b) How has the idea of ‘Work From Home’ forced us to redefine the formal and informal organisation of work. 

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UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
4(c) With suitable examples, explain how conformity and deviance co-exist in a society as propounded by RK Merton.

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UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
5(a) Explain the emerging challenges in establishing gender equality in the informal sector.

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UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
5(b) Critically examine the relevance of Vilfredo Pareto’s theory of Circulation of Elites in the present scenario. 10

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UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
5(c) Critically compare the views of E.B Tylor and Max Muller on Religion. 10

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UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
5(d) What is cult? Explain the growth of cults in the contemporary world. 10 

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UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
5(e) Do you think Talcott Parsons gave an adequate theory of social change? Justify your answer.  10 

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UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
6(a) Elucidate the main problems and challenges faced by the migrant labourers in the recent ‘Lockdown period’. 20

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UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
6(b) Explain how political parties and pressure groups are dialectically related to each other in terms of achieving their goals. 20

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UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
6(c) Give your comments on the growth of religious revivalism in the present day context.  10 

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UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
7(a) Explain how the pattern of patriarchy is being altered in a family and at the workplace in the present context.  20

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UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
7(b) Critically examine the contribution of dependency theories in understanding the present global scenario.   20 

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UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
7(c) Explain the growing salience of ethnicity in the contemporary world with illustrations. 

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UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
8(a) Discuss the changing nature of kinship relations in the contemporary world. 20

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UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
8(b) Describe the role of Science and Technology in enabling us to face the challenges triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.   20 

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UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
8(c) Highlight the roles and functions of civil society in a democratic system. 10 

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Paper 2: UPSC Sociology 2021


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
1(a) Caste system studies in India have been dominated by the “book view” initially. How did the entry of “field view” bring about a balance in the study of Indian caste system? Discuss. 10

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2.According to M. N Srinivas, Indian villages were never self-sufficient. Is it aligned with his structural functionalist approach to study society? Explain. (10 Marks, 150 Words)


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
1(b) What does Dr. B. R Ambedkar mean by the concept of “annihilation of caste”?

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UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
1(c) Discuss the different forms of kinship system in India.

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6. Explain with examples the different types of kinship systems in India. 20 Marks


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
1(d) Critically examine briefly the phrase “Little Republics” as used to denote India’s villages. 10

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UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
1(e) Caste-like formations are present in Non-Hindu religious communities as well. Discuss with examples. 

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UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
2(a) What is identity politics? Discuss the main trend in Dalit movements in India. 20

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UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
2(b) Is Indian society moving from “Hierarchy” towards “differentiation”? Illustrate your answer with suitable examples. 20

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7. Which is more significant, the principle of ‘hierarchy’ or the principle of difference; in inter-caste relations in the present day? 10


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
2(c) Discuss the salient features of the ‘new middle class’ in India. 10

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5. Covid has exposed the great fiction of middle-class life in India. Assess the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on the Indian middle class. 10        


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
3(a) Discuss in detail the major contribution of Prof. Yogendra Singh in theorising India’s modernisation. 20

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1. Write a detailed note on Modernisation and its contradictions with reference to Yogendra Singh’s work on social change in India. 20


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
3(b) Examine the factors responsible for rural unrest in contemporary India. 10

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UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
3(c) Discuss the changing dimensions of family structure in urban India. 10

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3. Mention two thinkers for this topic: Changing pattern of joint family structure in India.

4. Critically examine the functionalist views on the institution of family. How do those help us in understanding family in the present times? 20


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
4(a) What are the sociological reasons and implication of “reverse migration” during the recent pandemic in India? 

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UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
4(b) Discuss the main features of the debate between G S Ghurye and V Elwin on tribal development. 20

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UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
4(c) What are the various forms of untouchability in India? Critically examine. 10

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8. Recently an exclusive Brahmin cricket tournament was held in one of the modern cities of India. In light of this incident, discuss the new forms of untouchability prevalent in contemporary India. 20


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
5(a) Analyse the idea of developmental planning in India. 10

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7. The idea of social capitalism is best suited for the developmental agenda for India’s future. Do you agree?  10


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
5(b) Comment on the role of co-operatives in rural development. 10

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UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
5(c) Urban slums are sites of social exclusion. Explain. 10

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UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
5(d) Does regionalism essentially lead to decentralisation of power? Substantiate your answer with relevant examples. 10

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1. Write a short note with a sociological perspective on the following: Regionalism and federalism in India.  (10 Marks, 150 Words)


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
5(e) Discuss the role of technology in agrarian change in India. 10

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UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
6(a) Explain the sociological significance of the New Education Policy and its thrust on vocationalisation and skill development. 20

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UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
6(b) Is ‘ageing’ an emerging issue in Indian society? Discuss the major problems of the old age people in India. 20

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2. What are the causes, consequences and policy implications of the projected increase in the share of elderly population in India?  10


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
6(c) Underline the socio-cultural factors responsible for India’s skewed sex-ratio. 10

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UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
7(a) The problem of displacement is inherent in the idea of development. Analyse the statement critically. 20

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6. Write a short note on the sociology of climate displacement.  10


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
7(b) Rising ‘ethnocentrism’ is leading to conflict in our society. Assess this statement with appropriate reasons. 20

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UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
7(c) Is social democracy a precondition for political democracy? Comment. 10

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UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
8(a) Discuss the role of social media in communal polarisation. Suggest ways to combat it. 20 

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UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
8(b) Urban settlements in India tend to replicate its rural caste-kinship imprints. Discuss the main reasons.  20 

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UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
8(c) Does “economic empowerment” automatically bring about “substantive empowerment” for India? Briefly describe the main issues in women empowerment in India. 10 

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6. Write a short note with a sociological perspective on gender disparity in industrial class structure. 10


UPSC papers are dynamic and unconventional. Your preparation should also reflect the same.

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