The socio-spatial approach to urban analysis is the consequence of a paradigm shift that took place beginning with the late 1960s (Lefebvre, 1991). Prior to that time, the dominant view of urban processes among sociologists and geographers was called ‘human ecology’ (see Gottdiener, 1994; Gottdiener and Hutchison, 2000). Ideologically biased, human ecology grounded the relationship between social and spatial processes in a biologically based metaphor borrowed from the plant and animal kingdoms. Urban patterns of population dispersal and development were viewed as an adjustment process to the environment that is organic and adaptive rather than being the product of class, race and gender-based social relations stemming from a complex mode of social organization. Human ecology therefore, with its emphasis on adaptation, was particularly inadequate to the understanding of urban conflict during the 1960s ...