Here is how I approached Sociology paper-1. I began with the old edition of Haralambos. It is a fantastic book for understanding the subject and its scope. I did not read the book from cover to cover and confined myself strictly to the syllabus. This initiated me into the realm of sociology. I then moved on to IGNOU’s BA notes which are an extremely useful compilation of sociological knowledge. I also scanned through a few chapters of Giddens to get a hang of the subject. Before Prelims, I had made some notes for the first 3 chapters of paper 1 and had read some of the thinkers. I had by then acclimatized myself with the subject and also understood that the old edition of Haralambos was necessary but insufficient. After prelims, I started filling the gaps and expanding my notes….I began referring to the new updated version of Haralambos, internet, etc. (The topic-wise sources are given below). Though my notes were pretty extensive, I remained alive to the problems associated with inclusion of every topic in the notes. Therefore, at certain places, I left “flags” - page nos. or references in my notes so that the topics best read whole from the book could be referred in a logical and sequential manner during revision – (For example, Talcott Parson’s pattern variables – to be read from new Haralambos, pg.xxx). The end result was that by the end of my preparation, I had a bunch of notes that could be revised in a single day – It consisted of my notes of around 200 pages, old and new Haralambos (for referred pages), and a couple of booklets of IGNOU BA (out of many). I must have revised this bunch 4-5 times. I must also emphasize the importance of keeping a copy of previous 10 years’ questions handy, along with the syllabus. I made sure that there wasn’t a question asked in previous 10 years that I couldn’t answer.
Here is what I could manage for Sociology Paper-1
1. Sociology - The Discipline:-------IGNOU BA, old NCERT, old Haralambos, internet
2. Sociology as Science:------old & new Haralambos
3. Research Methods and Analysis:-----New Haralambos, dictionary of sociology by WP Scott / oxford dictionary of sociology
4. Sociological Thinkers:--------Old & New Haralambos, some comparative analyses and remaining topics from IGNOU BA (only what is not covered by Haralambos)
5. Stratification and Mobility: Old Haralambos, IGNOU BA
6. Works and Economic Life: IGNOU BA, Giddens, internet.
7. Politics and Society: Old Haralambos, Giddens, IGNOU BA
8. Religion and Society: Old Haralambos, IGNOU BA, internet
9. Systems of Kinship: IGNOU BA, dictionaries, (minor portions from Giddens and Haralambos)
10. Social Change in Modern Society: IGNOU BA, previous years’ questions, internet