This paper discusses the current state of the U.S. literature on cultural mechanisms in neighborhood effects research. We first define what we mean by neighborhood effects and by cultural mechanisms. We then review and critique two theoretical perspectives on the cultural context of disadvantaged neighborhoods that are explicitly integrated into recent neighborhood effects literature in the U.S.: "deviant subculture" and "cultural heterogeneity. We then draw on other related U.S. literatures from urban studies, cultural sociology, and culture and inequality to suggest some other conceptualizations that may be useful in advancing our understanding of the role of culture in neighborhood effects. We discuss the conceptual and methodological issues that will have to be grappled with in order to move this literature forward and conclude by offering concrete suggestions, both short-term and long-term, for a research agenda.
Keywords: Poverty, Neighborhood, Culture, Mechanism, Repertoire, Heterogeneity.