Monday, August 16, 2010

sociology optional


-first and foremost,try memorising or atleast thoroughly going through  the helps to put the study material in right also helps in knowing which topics hav not been covered yet. a descent score demands completion of syllabus.
-Thinkers are the backbone of sociology,so understanding is very important rather than only specific terms.infact,after studying individual thinker try comparing it with the views of other thinkers.
-use these basics understanding of thinkers in paper1 long questions,short questions. whenever a question in paper2 permits,try using the basic thinkers name and concepts,it makes answers more holistic.
(the usual question asked to me is where to get these notes,if one is not doing coaching-best source are friends who hav done coaching there...get the class idea would b to get them from current batch undergoing coaching recently,as u will hav most updated notes...undoubtedly,since new things r added to notes by sir with time...some people do say notes r also available in photostat shops in mukherjee nagar,but personally i have no idea...)

mohopatra sir's notes are excellent mains material and are holistic.his collections of views of contemporary and indiasn sociologist helps enrich answers esp.paper2. since i joined the oct 2007 batch for socio and gave mains in oct 2009,i did made additions from june 2008and 2009 batch,when i met my friends from these batches in test series of mohopatra sir in 2009 sept. what i i want to convey is,some topics in the syllabus were not so thoroughly covered in my notes,so i searched those specific topics from others to complete my notes and left no topic uncovered. with increasing unpredictable nature of paper this is impotant.
-wel,the test series of mohopatra sir is fantastic as it gives answer writing paractice,true feedback,scope to improve see score improve in next exam .more because the discussion is good,it helps churn the whole syllabus,interlink it and understand how to write answer specific to minor variatipn in wordings of questions.and it does add some latest opinions appearing n newspapers about current issues,which we may hav missed ourselves. here,i hav to mention that  i am not sure if it is opened for students who hav not done his mains classes,but u can always inquire at  vajiram for this.
yes,recently i talked to mohopatra sir,n he said he may not b able to conduct testseries for all students except his old n present batch students for want of time.....but told that if someone is interested in attending discussions of tests only(which is quite rich too) may do so...he plans to start test series from 10 th sept...n if u want to attend discussions...pls contact sir for he is the final word to allow u to attend the same..


-sociological concepts if clear,most questions can be easily understood and written.thus,get concepts clear with basic quality books or teachers.
 -YOJANA and KURUKSHETRA should be read by socio students,as it gives case studies as well as rural touch to the answers.i used to collect all issues,though may not read it straight away. whenever comfortable i used to giv one full day for yojana and kurukshetra.and friends, still in that whole day u cant completely finish all articles thoroughly,so try to pick and choose relevant topics,make side notes on book itself or a notebook as u prefer for value addition in the socio answers.
 ( CASE STUDIES- basically means any specific study of an particular village or community n evaluating it on a specific yojana on water management,gives a case study on traditional methods of water conservation in rajasthan....ignoring the data,u can put it as an example of how modernity has lead to neglect of these systems n may b need to adapt to climate change may force us to revive the same...hence the social change is not unidirectional n many factors influence the same- the point i want to  emphasise is that mould that case study to hav a sociological perspective...)
-socio as an optional can help improve score in gs, essay and interview too.just while studying socio,try interlinking with ur gs and essay material too.few people have asked me,whether this will make their answer in gs and essay very technical.i feel if u write in gs ,relevant sociological arguments without mentioning scholars(unless very contemporary like amartya sen or jean derze),it can help in better answers

-while reading hindu,do giv a thought from sociological point of view like gender,disadvantage sections,capitalism,changing indian society panchayat concept can very well used to enrich answer on changing pattern of indian marriage.

my prepn experience-

after my first prelims debacle basically due to unprepared socio optional,my focus of improvement was sociology. i had already did coaching,but my knowledge was raw n shallow,for the want of time n self study.i had no knowledge of which books to study except few prescribed by mohopatra sir,nor any friends else than in my coaching of this optional,who had same knowledge as mine.
so,i made list of all socio books prescribed by toppers intw in chronicle with socio optional n on internet n went to book store buying all that i can get from that list...(thus i know value of gud advices n knw passion to improve can overcome any hurdle)
i had a basic book in IGNOU M n M series,i read 10 chapters a day n finished its 2 parts in around 20-25 days(it was a painful to realise that i knew so less,even after having given pre in this optional) n this made me realise that i hav to study so much got to knw my weakness,hence the improvement started...
then i read lots of books,as i hav mentioned n still others which were not enough to b prescribed to others. i read even pcs books of raj n haryana for their socio ten yrs as i gav their pre also(and found answers to their ques too-no stone unturned coz its my weak area)
in civils pre i marked around 94 ques correct for sure.actually in starting i marked 108 ques n rubbed of all those answers in which i had slightest of doubt,thus 94 ques sure shot clear n i know i making it this time,atleast thru socio part(this was the passion to make it to civils,i focussed,so committed,so mad of clearing it somehow,anyhow)
so,the question i was asked in guestbook which i had to answer here-how i prepared for socio mains....the base was prepared,thinkers,basic topics clear n strong....what was left was indian additions for paper2...i read mohopatra sirs notes n they were really gud,then his written printed materials and also added extra points to paper1 after pre, first was prepn on paper2 n then paper1 esp. thinkers ,stratification n social change...
-i did scan thru msa rao,ram ahuja(it gives pretty old data though),but except for few points ,i didnt add much as sir's notes had gist from these books in his notes n it was not  needed to put extra time into it.i feel the most comprehensive collection for paper2 is mohopatra sirs notes,esp if u can get from current running batch,so that his latest additions r also there.
-IGNOU+mohopatra sir's notes+hindu+magzines are gud enough material to giv quality answers. also u can add from social issues-wizard+ harlombus esp;family,stratification(in socialist countries),education,alienation(search from index at back),gender...
i hav been asked to giv source of studying following topics;-
IMPACT OF COLONIAL RULE ON INDIA-mohopatra sir's notes+modern history ncert-few initial chapters may giv u points here...n even can add something contemporary here eg:the mindset of seeing everything western as gud n indigenous as inferior is the hangover of colonial rule-this explains OGBURN'S concepts too as physical things changes easily than culture n attitudes..
RURAL AND AGRARIAN SOCIAL STRUCTURE-ya ofcourse,sir's notes ,kurukshetra n something contemporary as studies on NREGA showing how this struc is changing n also can include point of reverse migration due to NREGA.
SOCIAL CLASSES IN INDIA-this topic is an open one-include upper,middle(IGNOU PART2 IS GUD) n lower class concepts,compare with caste struc, add concepts of embourgeisement,how these classes r changing, middle class apathy towards politics,n ya how lower class is using politics for empowerment n realising importance of investment of educn for improving their class BOOK TO PRESCRIBE,ALMOST ALL U HAVE READ CAN B RELATED HERE.
SOCIAL MOVEMENTS IN INDIA-mohopatra sirs notes,vidhya bhushans's movements,also from history n recent movements using social media(eg: earth hour campaign across countries),climate change movements etc.....also,here u can giv contemporary touch.


-socio is most comfortable optional in this,lots of material is available in notes,hindu,yojana,kurukshetra,daily news and experiences. we all hav some basic understanding of society at large. all this should be incorporated in a balanced manner and a good answer is ready.
-aim is to write quality answers,with basics,analysis of  different thinkers,international and rural orientation,currents related,some relevant facts to strengthen an argument,some self opinionsetc.all these this may not b there in all answers but can be included if question allows.what help one score better than other is SOMETHING EXTRA that examiner dont find in others answers.socio gives lot of freedom to add this extra part.
-long ques should be around 600-650 words,short question around 200-250 words.i tried making diagrams.this should be done only if u hav time.long ques takes around 30 min and short one around12-15 min.with practice this speed can be attained.


  1. Ma'am
    I wanted to ask you did you make elaborate notes while preparing for socio?

  2. MA'am,
    Could you please tell us about Upendra Gaur Sir's Sociology Classes, if you know something or have heard about it.I have heard that his classes are very good.Even 2008 UPSC Rank-12, Ms.Aditi Singh recommended his classes. Moreover, I have heard from many people that Vaji Ram's Socio faculty is not that good.
    I am in a dilemma where to take coaching from.
    I would be very grateful if you can help me out in this regard.


  3. thanks garimaji for ur golden words for socio.........

  4. Madam,
    Can you please tell me about IGNOU M n M series.Is this book available in Bangalore?