Old boy network

An old boy network, or society, can refer to social and business connections among former pupils of male-only private schools. British public school students were traditionally called "boys", thus graduated students are "old boys".

This can apply to the network between the graduates of a single school, also known as an old boy society and similar to an alumni association. It can also mean a network of social and business connections among the alumni of various prestigious schools. In popular language, old boy network or old boy society has come to be used in reference to the preservation of social elites in general; such connections within the British Civil Service formed a primary theme in the British Broadcasting Corporation's satirical comedy series Yes Minister.

Contents

Australia

Scotch College, Melbourne the Australian school with the most "Old Boys" in Who's Who in Australia in a 1988 study

In Australia the term "Old Boy" is used to describe a male alumnus of some prestigious state and private schools. The term "Old Girl" is similarly used for a female alumna of such schools.

In Australia there was academic research in 1988 to identify the extent of the "Old Boy/Girl network" among Australia's elite, using Who's Who in Australia (a listing of notable Australians) as a sample of people in elite positions. This research shows that a small number of private and selective state schools have Old Boys/Old Girls who disproportionately hold elite positions in Australian society.[1][2] The 1988 study showed the top ten Australian schools for Old Boys/Old Girls were:

Canada

The term is also used in Canada, where the alumni of such schools as St. Andrew's College, Sterling Hall School,[3] St George's School[disambiguation needed ], Bishop's College School and Upper Canada College are known as Old Boys. The old boy network of Upper Canada College has been so influential in the political and business realms of Canada that the book Old Boys: The Powerful Legacy of Upper Canada College (ISBN 978-1551990057), by James Fitzgerand, was published in 1994.

Finland

In Finland, the Finnish term hyvä veli -verkosto (literally dear brother network) is used to refer to the alleged informal network of men in high places whose members use their influence to pervert or circumvent official decision-making processes to the members' mutual benefit. As such, the term is pejorative.

India

Former students of the Welham Boys School refer to their society as the Welham Old Boys Society. Though the school was founded in 1937, the society was not founded until 1983. The group is intended to encourage Welham graduates to aid in the school's success through their union; they have established scholarships and bursaries for deserving students. The Welham Old Boys Network has established definite membership criteria, as well as requiring a subscription fee.[4] The Doon School, one of the most prestigious private schools in India, maintains its own old boy society for social connections and fundraising on behalf of the School.[5] Old boys of The Doon School are known as Doscos.

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, the network exists primarily[citation needed] within alumni of the Eton Group and the Rugby Group public schools, as well as having affiliation with Oxford University and/or Cambridge University. Such a network is often blamed for an apparent high proportion of former pupils of these schools and graduates of these universities in high status positions in government, business, and the professions. An organisation called Future First [6] is trying to push the use of these networks in state schools.

Other terms

  • The expression old school tie has essentially the same meaning as the Old Boy/Old Girl network. This expression derives from the wearing of school ties by former pupil, to indicate that the wearer is an alumnus or alumna of a particular school or university. This practice is less common now than in former times.
  • An Old Girl network has the same meaning with respect to girls' schools as "Old Boy network" has for boys' schools.[citation needed]

See also

References

  1. ^ Mark Peel and Janet McCalman, Who Went Where in Who's Who 1988: The Schooling of the Australian Elite, Melbourne University History Research Series Number 1, 1992
  2. ^ Ian Hansen, Nor Free Nor Secular: Six Independent Schools in Victoria, a First Sample, Oxford University Press, 1971
  3. ^ Sterling Hall School: Welcome SHS Old Boys!
  4. ^ Welham Old Boys Society
  5. ^ The Doon School: Our Old Boys
  6. ^ Future First

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • old-boy network — old boy networks also old boy network N COUNT: usu the N in sing (disapproval) When people talk about the old boy network, they are referring to a situation in which people who went to the same public school or university use their positions of… …   English dictionary

  • old boy network — (also old boys network) ► NOUN ▪ an informal system through which men use their positions of influence to help others who went to the same school or university, or who share a similar social background …   English terms dictionary

  • old boy network — noun an exclusive informal network linking members of a social class or profession or organization in order to provide connections and information and favors (especially in business or politics) professional women have developed an old boy… …   Useful english dictionary

  • old boy network — {n. phr.} A system whereby men who went to the same school help each other to get good jobs, regardless of their ability or training. * /Peter got his lucrative job thanks to the old boy network rather than because of his qualifications./ Compare …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • old boy network — {n. phr.} A system whereby men who went to the same school help each other to get good jobs, regardless of their ability or training. * /Peter got his lucrative job thanks to the old boy network rather than because of his qualifications./ Compare …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • old boy network — n [sing] (BrE infml often disapprov) (especially in the past) the situation in many British companies, government departments and branches of the armed forces where people give jobs and other privileges to ‘old boys’ (= former students) of the… …   Universalium

  • old\ boy\ network — n. phr. A system whereby men who went to the same school help each other to get good jobs, regardless of their ability or training. Peter got his lucrative job thanks to the old boy network rather than because of his qualifications. Compare: old… …   Словарь американских идиом

  • Old boy network — Alumni Netzwerke kommen ursprünglich an Hochschulen vor. Mittlerweile sind viele Unternehmen weltweit dazu übergegangen, ebenfalls Alumni Netzwerke zu unterhalten. Dies ist unter anderem auf den Wandel der Definition Alumni zurückzuführen. Einige …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • old boy network — noun A presumed unacknowledged system of association between childhood friends (especially those at school or university together), used for mutual assistance or favouritism. His hiring and promotion of senior officers rested not on merit but on… …   Wiktionary

  • old boy network — see old boy network …   English dictionary


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