Talk:Old boy network

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From VFD[edit]

from VfD

  • Good ol' boy network - never would have guessed the title. Vacuum 04:00, Feb 3, 2004 (UTC)
    • Keep. Consider moving to Old boy network or somesuch, which I think is a more common phrase. The concept is real, and the page could give a more broad perspective. It's certainly not localised to the US south. Evercat 04:06, 3 Feb 2004 (UTC)
    • Keep - the phenomenon is quite widespread and famous. A better name might be in order. →Raul654 04:07, Feb 3, 2004 (UTC)
    • Keep. Valid political and social concept. Maybe list on Cleanup for improvement. RickK 05:18, 3 Feb 2004 (UTC)
    • Keep but move to Old Boy Network. Moncrief 06:04, 3 Feb 2004
    • Keep with the current title - "Old Boy Newtork" does not mean anything in the contemporary southern dialect. Hcheney 21:00, 3 Feb 2004 (UTC)
    • Keep. I thought "Good ol' boy network" was the common phrase. Minesweeper 03:35, 6 Feb 2004 (UTC)
    • Keep (fabiform | talk 03:59, 6 Feb 2004 (UTC)). I'm sure there's another name for this to do with ties, but I can't think of it. About the current name, google speaks:
      • "old boy network" = 17,500
      • "old boys network" = 14,900
      • "old boys club" = 13,200
      • "good old boy network" = 3,320
      • "good ol' boy network" = 2,370
      • "old boy's club" = 1,550
      • "good ole boy network" = 1,380
      • "good old boys network" = 1,190

Not a British term only[edit]

When I think of an old boy network when writing articles using the term, I think of the United States too. I was trying to use the word in an article just now, but I couldn't link to this article because it's got the term listed as exclusively British, while the "good ole boy network" listing here is written as exclusive to the Southern U.S. Evidently the Northern US states do not perceive that they have any established old boy networks, when they most certainly do just like any part of the world. But my use of the word was to loosely point to any territorial, grasping establishment clique for any industry that pushes out those not already inside to protect their territory. This can be white good ole boys keeping out women or blacks in any region of the US, but it can also be just old boys keeping out women and gays from moving up the ladder in any art of the country. The term I'm seeking to link to can mean an industry or business' established group. It does not have to be necessarily Ivy League old boy establishments, but it could be. It could also just be those who've been on top of a business power structure without some fancy educational background, and resistant to letting newcomers in; an old boy's club. So maybe there needs to be a term for that which includes American culture and not just the South. Southern "good ole boys" doesn't describe the term I'm looking for. Bebop 10:11, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Exactly. I also think of it in terms of both the Ivy League colleges and universities and the Junior Ivy League prep schools.--Xinoph 20:48, 6 November 2005 (UTC)

Sweeping generalisations...[edit]

... Seem to be prevelent in this page.

As you can see from the section I've added: "However, literal 'Old Boy Networks' may not neccesarily have the same connotations. Many male-only Schools, both public- and state- run, have 'Old Boy Societies', with a sole aim to maintain an Old Boy's association with a school." - This gives a better picture of a large number of Old boy networks in the UK.

The Eton-type society you mention is only one small element of Old Boy Networks in the UK. Additionally, vis-a-vie schools like my old one, Ermysted's Grammar School have an Old Boy Society, which has nothing to do with business.--Albert 11:48, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Needs improvement[edit]

The article (as mentioned above) makes very many sweeping generalisations. An Old Boy Network is first and foremost a social group of people who met at a particular institution - usually a school, college or university - and graduated while keeping a common interest with that seat of learning. It isn't necessarily all male any more, but the term 'Old Boy' is still used. That is the meaning of Old Boy and Old Boy Network - the term also has negative connotations of nepotism.

Also - regarding the discussion above about the Americanised 'good ol' boy network' - this is clearly the same, and should either be merged into this article or should be given a section in this page similar to the ones for other countries, possibly retaining its current page as a 'main article' link (similarly to Finland) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:28, 21 May 2009 (UTC)


Connections too nepotism (favouring of family) and cronyism (favouring of long term friends) should both be mentioned. The concept of 'old boys network' is often used or associated with corruption. (talk) 14:20, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

Catholic bishops[edit]

Critics of the Catholic hierarchy often claim that bishops' conferences are built to resemble a old-boys-club, because of their inherent patriarchal character which resembles the power structure of ancient Greco-Roman civlizations. For instance, Jesuit author Thomas J. Reese makes the claim in his 1992 book A flock of shepherds. This could perhaps be included in the article, along with apppropriate sources of course. [1] ADM (talk) 19:28, 5 December 2009 (UTC)


[Wikipedia definition of Alumnus]

 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:39, 13 December 2009 (UTC) 


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Doesn't present a worldwide view[edit]

Since the term "good ol' boy network" re-directs here, this is an example of an article not about a United States concept which doesn't present a worldwide view of the subject—yes, they exist too. The article exclusively pertains to male private schools but the American term is far less specific, referring to any established industry or organization in which cronyism is rampant and great effort is taken both to keep out unwanted types (especially women and minorities) and to protect its members from outsiders (including law enforcement). (talk) 02:00, 18 April 2013 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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