Wages, patronage and welfare: Thrift and its limits in Argentina’s Gran Chaco

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


In Argentina’s Gran Chaco, Indigenous Guaraní households ensure their subsistence through the skillful management of wages, patronage, and welfare. This chapter explores the extent to which thrift and anti-thrift characterize Guaraní engagements with resource flows. In a context marked by unemployment and a dwindling frontier economy, the chapter shows the gendered social relations through which resources are elicited, sourced, managed and spent. The Guaraní case demonstrates how the boundaries between thrift and anti-thrift are blurred in everyday life and illustrates how the different scales and temporalities of resource flows articulate households, settlements, extractive economies, and democratic politics.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThrift and its Paradoxes
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Domestic to Political Economy
EditorsCatherine Alexander, Daniel Sosna
PublisherBerghahn Books
ISBN (Electronic)9781800734630
ISBN (Print)9781800734623
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2022

Publication series

NameMax Planck Studies in Anthropology and Economy
PublisherBerghahn Books


  • households
  • gender
  • work
  • anti-thrift
  • abundance
  • mutuality
  • scale


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