Old boy network

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An old boy network, or society, can refer to social and business connections among former pupils of male-only private schools.

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.



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:

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