Booklists and Approach for Sociology by CSE Rank 15
I first read the two Class 11 NCERTs – Introducing Sociology and Understanding Society, and the two Class 12 NCERTs – Indian Society and Social Change and Development in India once, and highlighted the important points in them. Later, I added only these highlighted points to my notes.
Then I once read the entire ESO 13 and MSO 04 Blocks of IGNOU Sociology. This was just a quick basic reading and I did not highlight any points or make any notes from this first reading.
Then I started selectively reading Sociology – Themes and Perspectives by Haralambos and Holborn. This book is also known as the ‘Blue Haralambos’. The book only looks huge, but it is actually written in a very simple language. In the first reading, I only highlighted the important points. And in the second reading, I made notes from this book. These notes were my base material for Paper 1.
Following are the page numbers that I read from the Blue Haralambos (8th Edition):
- Introduction: sociological perspectives – full
- Chapter 1: Stratification, class and inequality – pages 21-24, 30-34, 47-56, 80-82, 87-93
- Chapter 2: Sex and gender – pages 95-101, 104-121, 130-138
- Chapter 3: ‘Race’, ethnicity and nationality – pages 155-160, 174-187, 193-197, 206-210
- Chapter 4: Poverty, social exclusion and the welfare state – pages 231-236, 246-247, 259-264, 269-276
- Chapter 6: Crime and deviance – pages 347-352, 361-367
- Chapter 7: Religion – pages 431-437, 444-462, 473-475, 487-488, 491-499, 504-507
- Chapter 8: Families, households and personal life – pages 509-525, 544-545, 566-569
- Chapter 9: Power, politics and the state – pages 579-590, 593-603, 608-620
- Chapter 10: Education – pages 663-671, 702-704
- Chapter 14: Methodology – full
- Chapter 15: Sociological theory – pages 953-998, 1013-1015
Here, I would suggest first reading the Introduction, then the selected pages from Chapter 15, then the entire Chapter 14, and then the remaining Chapters.
Once the notes-making from the Blue Haralambos was done, I did one reading of Fundamentals of Sociology by Vikash Ranjan Sir (5th Edition). From this book, I read all the Chapters except Chapter 4 (Sociological Thinkers). The language of the book is very simple, and I made notes in this first reading itself. This book is helpful for Chapters 6, 9 and 10, which are not covered much in the Blue Haralambos. And it also helped in adding some more content and Thinkers for the remaining Chapters.
Once I had my notes ready from the above two books, I read the Class Notebooks of Upendra Gaur Sir. These had been written by a friend’s friend, from Sir’s batch for Mains 2016. They were very good and covered most of the topics of Paper 1. Even some topics of Paper 2 had been covered in them, but I did not read those. I have not read Sir’s written notes that are available on Telegram, so I cannot comment on their quality. I did not make any notes from these Notebooks, as they were anyways written in the notes-format only.
Then I again read the entire ESO 13 Block of IGNOU Sociology. I did not make any notes from them, and instead only highlighted the important points.
I did not read Ritzer because Upendra Sir’s Class Notebooks covered Chapter 4 (Sociological Thinkers) in great detail. Plus, even my notes from the Blue Haralambos had covered Marx, Durkheim and Weber quite well. And the remaining gaps had been filled by ESO 13.
I started with Paper 2 only after completing all the above actions.
For Paper 2, I first read Applied Sociology – Indian Society: Structure and Change by Vikash Ranjan Sir (5th Edition). The language of the book is very simple, and I made notes in this first reading itself. For topics that were too huge to make notes, I just noted down the page numbers from this book, and then read only those pages multiple times.
Then, I read Mohapatra Sir’s Class Notebooks which I had ordered from Pankaj Copiers. These were seven Notebooks from Sir’s batch that had started in December 2016. And they were excellent. I had initially planned to read only Paper 2 from these Notebooks. But once I started reading them, I realized that, for many topics, Sir had covered Paper 1 and Paper 2 in an integrated manner. Hence, I read everything except the two Notebooks that covered Chapter 4 (Sociological Thinkers) of Paper 1. I made notes in the first reading itself. For topics that were too huge to make notes, I just noted down the page numbers from the Notebooks, and then read only those pages multiple times. I also added to my Paper 1 notes from these Notebooks. I have not read Sir’s written notes that are available on Telegram, so I cannot comment on their quality.
Then, I once read the Vision Test Series Model Answers for Paper 2, from the years 2014 to 2017. I added any new content or Thinkers that I could find in them, to my notes.
Then I quickly read the entire MSO 04 Block of IGNOU Sociology again, and added any new content or Thinkers that I could find in it, to my notes.
And then I read Tusharanshu Sharma Sir’s notes for Paper 2. I did not make any notes from them, and instead only highlighted the important points.
Most of the above was done from June 2017 to January 2018, alongside the GS preparation. Then from February, I had started focusing more on the Prelims, and did not study much for Sociology.
After the 2018 Prelims:
- My own notes, Upendra Gaur Sir’s Class Notebooks and the highlighted points from ESO 13 were what I read and revised several times for Paper 1 and
- My own notes and highlighted points from Tusharanshu Sharma Sir’s notes were what I read and revised several times for Paper 2
Also, for some topics in both the Papers, I referred to my own Class Notebook.
Along with all these, I also wrote the Test Series.