Written from a postmodernist perspective, this work considers urban regions as built environments and goes beyond traditional social variables to examine economic and political dimensions of urban development. The text has a global outlook and takes a balanced approach to cities and suburbs. It introduces the paradigm - "social-spatial perspective" - to urban sociology, which is used to consider the role played by spacial considerations, such as the role of real estate in metropolitan development. Race, class and gender are dealt with in a balanced way. This edition includes new topics, such as focus groups and data management programs for data entry. Case studies are treated as a major form of social research and as such the text includes lengthy discussions of them.