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Old Boy Networks: The Relationship between Elite Schooling, Social Capital, and Positions of Power in British Society

Watters, Shane (2016) Old Boy Networks: The Relationship between Elite Schooling, Social Capital, and Positions of Power in British Society. In: Koh, Aaron and Kenway, Jane, eds. Elite Schools: Multiple Geographies of Privilege. Education in Global Context . Routledge, London, UK, pp. 101-121. ISBN 978-1-138-77940-2. E-ISBN 978-1-315-77133-5. (doi:10.4324/9781315771335) (KAR id:65989)

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Scholars of social stratification have long suggested a relationship between elite schooling and obtaining high status positions in society. In Britain studies of elites have persistently cited an 'old boy's network' of social ties as a key mechanism for gaining employment in government and a number of key professions. However, documentary evidence of the existence of 'old boy's networks' or how they relate to the elite public schools to which they are associated is in extremely short supply. More broadly, there have only been limited attempts to bring together and critically analyse data regarding the link between private schooling and esteemed employment destinations. This chapter offers a quantitative and theoretical analysis of the relationship between private schooling (in its various forms) and positions of power in British society; and utilises new web based resources to provide evidence of the existence and structure of 'old boy’s networks' in Britain. The chapter puts forward two primary arguments. Firstly, that there is sufficient existing data to identify a strong longitudinal correlation between private schooling and high status employment in Britain; and secondly, that 'old boy’s networks' in Britain are structured in such way as to assist their members to attain employment in particular high status professions and areas of business.

Item Type: Book section
DOI/Identification number: 10.4324/9781315771335
Uncontrolled keywords: Old Boys Networks, Social Mobility, Elites, Power, Private Schools
Subjects: H Social Sciences
L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Shane Watters
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2018 12:38 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:52 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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