The article stresses the importance of integrating structure and culture in the debate on the culture of poverty. According to the author, this is possible starting from the recent acquisitions in the field of culture of poverty, that represent a step forward within the debate on poverty and neighborhood effects. In this direction, the transition from the model of subcultures to the cultural heterogeneity one represents an added value in the neighborhood effects studies only if it endorses the vital importance of context, avoiding the risks of culturalist de-contextualization. At the same time the cultural heterogeneity model, designed to capture mechanisms and conditions in which neighborhood effects act, avoids the risk of a structuralist (universalist) typing, as well as a folkloristic representation of poor neighborhoods.
Keywords: Structure, Culture, Context, Heterogeneity, Conditional Approach, Neighborhood Effect