Exam Strategy for Sociology

Paper I

Regarding short notes, Following are the crucial sections in paper I:

  • Sociology-The Discipline.
  • Scientific Study of Social Phenomena.
  • Techniques of data collection and analysis.
  • Economic System.
  • Political System.
  • Educational System.
  • Science & Technology.
  • While preparing for the long questions in paper I, students need to thoroughly prepare Pioneering contributions to Sociology. This comprises-
  • Karl Marx: Historical materialism, mode of production, alienation and class struggle.
  • Emile Durham: Division of labour, social fact, religion and society.
  • Max Weber: Social action, ideal types, authority, bureaucracy, protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism.
  • Talcott Parsons: Social system, pattern variables.
  • Robert K Merton: Latent and manifest functions, anomie, conformity and deviance, reference groups.
  • While revising Pioneering contributions to Sociology ‘students need to focus on areas like socio-economic and political background, views of thinkers, their analysis, contemporary perspective and evolution. The section on’ Pioneering contributions to Sociology' is the most crucial part of paper I. It helps to understand the theoretical references of paper II. So, if you have prepared in detail for this section, it will not be then complex for those candidates who get the crux of sections i.e.. Social Stratification, Economic System, Political System, Educational System, Social Movements and Social Change and Development.

Candidates are required to understand argumentative aspect of thinkers like Karl Marx, Emile Durham, Max Weber, Talcott Parsons, Robert K Merton, with an eye to use their arguments in other sections of paper I. The theoretical inference of these thinkers need to be move forward in paper II, wherever required.

For long answer type questions, students need to put attention on topics namely remarkable Contributions to Sociology, Marriage and Family, Social Stratification and Mobility, Political System, Social Movements and Social Change and Development. Students who can focus on these sections are expected to answer 70% of queries in paper I. They should, however, have an entire view of the paper with focus on pioneer trends like education, religion and economic developments.

Paper II

Meanwhile preparing for the paper, students should assure that they should not limit their preparation regarding various different sections. They need to focus on inter-relation between various topics. Students need to possess an analytical dimension with focus on continuity and change. Inspite os so many alterations, why caste system still exists in our country. Or, despite the break-up of the joint family system, the mentality of joint family still exists among the Indians.

For short notes, the crucial sections are:

  • Historical Moorings of the Indian Society.
  • Class Structure.
  • Marriage, Family and Kinship.
  • Education.
  • Political System.
  • Population Dynamics.
  • Social Movements.
  • Social Problems.
  • For long answer type questions, the crucial sections are stated below:
  • Caste System.
  • Class Structure.
  • Agrarian Social Structure.
  • Industry and Society.
  • Political Processes.
  • Tribal Societies.
  • Social Change.
  • Social Movements.
  • Women and Society.

Apart from afore-mentioned topics, students need to understand the sections like Caste System, Agrarian Social Structure and Tribal Societies. You can always have either short or long questions from these three sections. Paper II actually works like mathematics as it is a very high scoring paper.

Various topics are there in paper II which are stated as essay type. But in case of Sociology, they need to be approached through sociological perspectives. If you are asked a question based on poverty, this can have theoretical conclusions too. You need to provide empirical, sociological or case studies examples to judge the desired topics.

Writing Short notes

You need to initiate answering the questions directly. Avoid the flowery language and jargons with an eye on all perspectives while answering the question.

Long questions

Perspective that is being asked needs to be kept in mind while answering the questions. Theoretical dimension is to be well equipped with analysis.