Organized around an integrated paradigmthe sociospatial perspectivethis breakthrough text considers the role played by social factors such as race, class, gender, lifestyle, economics, culture, and politics on the development of metropolitan areas. By moving beyond the traditional city/suburb dichotomy, the authors’ unique focus on the continuously changing nature of metropolitan regions makes the material more relevant to students’ personal experiences, and the cohesive conceptual framework engages students’ critical thinking skills. It integrates the social ecological with the political economy paradigm through a fresh theoretical approach emphasizing the importance of space to social life and real estate to the economy and urban development. Fully revised throughout, this edition features a new chapter on metropolitan social policy and expanded discussions of international regions, key concepts, and the effect of the economic crisis on housing markets, public policy, and urban development. Concise and accessible, this book offers students a brief, intelligible history of urban life from its origins to the industrial period, as well as a clear, sophisticated summary of urban social theory.