4 types of Nepotism

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Nepotism is preferential treatment given in various areas to relatives in the area of politics, business, entertainment, religion, sports, and other activities.

Since ancient times, this kind of preferential treatment has been opposed by many free thinkers, including Aristotle, Confucius, and Valluvar. The ancient Indian philosopher Valluvar, for instance, condemned nepotism as both unfair and unwise. The word originated from the Italian word nepotism, which is linked with Latin Nepos, meaning nephew.

During the Middle Ages and well into the late 17th century, many Catholic popes and bishops had no offspring because they took vows of chastity. These holy figures gave their nephews top positions in the church. Many popes elevated their relatives to the cardinalate. Most times, such offices were appointed to continue a papal “dynasty”. For example, Pope Callixtus III, who was the head of the Borgia family, made two of his favourite nephews as cardinals.

One of them, Rodrigo, subsequently used his status as a cardinal to become Pope Alexander VI. Alexander then promoted Alessandro Farnese, the brother of his mistress, to cardinal; Farnese then later become Pope Paul III. Paul III also practised nepotism by naming two of his nephews, aged 14 and 16, as cardinals.


When Pope Innocent XII issued the bull Romanum decet Pontificem, in 1692, the practice was finally restricted. At all times, the papal bull banned popes from granting estates, offices, or profits to any relation, with the exception that the position of a cardinal is made by one eligible relative (at most).

Types of nepotism


Favouritism of this nature has become a general issue in areas of politics where relatives of people in power also assume high positions without proper qualifications. A British English expression which says “Bob’s your uncle” originates from when Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil, III Marquess of Salisbury, positioned his nephew to Chief Secretary for Ireland. This is a clear example of nepotism.


Many organisations may experience nepotism when an individual is hired because of their family connections. It is commonly viewed as immoral, both on the part of the employer and the worker.

In employment

Nepotism at work can mean higher chances of getting a job, achieving a job, or getting higher pay than other people in a similar position. Due to a family relation, which is most prevalent in small, family-run enterprises, arguments are made both for and against jobs given.

Such preferential treatment can, on the one hand, provide consistency and continuity. Critics cite studies that indicate reduced morale and devotion from workers who aren’t related, and a relatively negative attitude towards superior roles occupies through nepotism.

“A Forbes magazine article claimed that” there is no ladder to ascend when the top rung is saved for those with a specific name. “As an ethical matter, some corporations ban nepotism, finding it too problematic and destructive.

In entertainment

Accusations of “nepotism” are made outside national politics in examples of prima facie partiality to relatives, in situations such as:

  • The position of Peaches Geldof in an MTV reality show as the magazine editor, created by a company founded by her father, Bob Geldof
  • As a result of her father’s, Aaron Spelling, involvement with the show, Tori Spelling’s role in Beverly Hills 90210


Nepotism – wikipedia

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