Against the run of play: Masculine fantasies and the game of football in the Gran Chaco

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In Argentina’s Gran Chaco, indigenous Guaraní men play football assiduously. This article explores how the game articulates with their sense of masculinity. Historical engagements in the Chaco’s extractive labor markets have shaped understandings of masculinity that emphasize strength, courage, and provision. However, the decline of the region’s extractive industries has made these forms of masculinity unattainable for young men. Games of football, including betting and drinking off the pitch, create bounded and embodied experiences that allow young men to experience fantasies of productivity and collectivity while disavowing everyday experiences of unemployment. These fantasies are particularly striking because they misrecognize women’s growing role as providers even as they sustain a fantasy of autonomous masculine politics that elides ties of kinship and dependency.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalSocial Analysis: The International Journal of Social and Cultural Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022


  • gender
  • play
  • indigeneity
  • Argentina
  • unemployment
  • work
  • politics
  • waithood
  • football
  • Latin America and Caribbean
  • fantasy
  • indigenous communities


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