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Passing of A. Paul Hare, Haverford Faculty Member 1960-1973

Paul Hare was Professor Emeritus in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Ben-Gurion University, Israel, and an affiliate of the University’s Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, when he died October 31, 2009 in Beer Sheva, Israel, from complications of a rare form of leukemia.

Hare’s early notoriety in sociology came from his dedication to small-group research. At Harvard’s Department of Social Relations, with Robert F. Bales and Edgar F. Borgatta, Hare edited the 1955 classic collection titled Small Groups: Studies in Social Interaction. For over 50 years, Hare tracked the evolution of the discipline, publishing, with others, updated editions of a small groups “handbook” every decade, most recently, with long-term colleague Herbert H. Blumberg and others, Small Group Research: Basic Issues (Blumberg, Hare, Kent, and Davies, 2009). Dubbed the “historian of social psychology” by Bales, Hare taught and published extensively about Interaction Process Analysis, SYMLOG (System for the Multiple Level Observation of Groups), and field theory of social interaction systems, as well as Moreno’s Sociometry.

Another focus of Hare’s scholarly contributions was functional analysis of social interaction, derived from the work of Talcott Parsons. Hare blended the functional perspective with other theoretical approaches, such as dramaturgical analysis and the creativity hierarchy, as a method for examining social change, including the US civil rights struggle, global peace movements, India’s Shanti Sena, the fight against apartheid in South Africa, and the Hebrew Israelite Community.

Hare’s greatest professional legacy is his life as a model of the sociologist engaged in the currents of social history, across nations and diverse peoples, propelled by his Quaker values to “bear witness” and be a participant observer of social action for peace and justice. Unflagging spirit, keen commitment to egalitarian principles, and a gentle demeanor enabled him to bring out the best in others.

Born Alexander Paul Hare, Jr., June 29, 1923 in Washington, DC, he was known as Paul to friends and family, but published under the name A. Paul Hare. Army service in the European theatre during World War II (1943-46) interrupted his studies at Swarthmore College, where he earned a BA in English (1947). Following completion of his Sociology MA at the University of Pennsylvania (1949) and PhD at the University of Chicago (1951), he held short-term teaching and research positions at Princeton University, Wellesley College, Yale University, and Harvard University.

In 1960, Hare joined the faculty of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Haverford College, Pennsylvania (1960-73). Shortly thereafter, the Kennedy Administration appointed him to serve in the Philippines as Deputy Representative of the newly formed US Peace Corps. Also in the 1960s, the challenge of third-world transformation drew him to accept a series of short-term teaching positions for fostering leadership in African nations: Makerere University, University of Ibadan, University of Rhodesia, and University of Cape Town. On the US domestic front, Hare participated in Martin Luther King’s sit-ins and protest marches and became close with Dave Dellinger and other cadre of the peace movement. At Haverford College, Hare founded the Center for Nonviolent Conflict Resolution, which sent teams of observers to hot spots of dissent around the country, most notably Kent State University, OH, where four students had been killed during antiwar protests. Two books edited with Blumberg—Nonviolent Direct Action (1968) and Liberation without Violence (1977) reflected Hare’s passions during this period.

He left the United States for South Africa in 1973 to be Head of the Department of Sociology, University of Cape Town, where he met his current wife, June Rabson Hare. In 1980, they immigrated to Israel where Hare joined the faculty of Ben-Gurion University. Small groups and social interaction continued to be the core themes of his teaching, research, and publication. However, as a byproduct of his ardor for mentoring junior colleagues, he additionally edited a series of collaborative books portraying the desert experience: Desert Regions(1999),Foreign Experts and Unsustainable Development(2000), Israel as Center Stage(2002), The Desert Experience in Israel(2009), and Transfer of Technology(2009).

Hare was a lifelong member of the American Sociological Association, active in the Social Psychology Section, also a member of the Society for Experimental Social Psychology, and served briefly as President of the Pennsylvania Sociological Society (1966-67). Paul was Editor ofSociological Inquiry, as well as the founder and first Editor of Israel Social Science Research,and served on the editorial board of numerous professional journals.

In Israel, Hare’s lifelong extracurricular enthusiasm for staging entertainments became a devotion to amateur musical theatre. As a member of the Light Opera Group of the Negev (LOGON), he zealously assumed many roles, from producer to performer, and co-edited the LOGON story, The Stage Is Our World (2006). The cover of Hare’s memoir, entitled Funny Things (2009), shows him in the role of Erronius in the 2003 production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

Colleagues, friends, and family remember Paul Hare not only for his selflessness, but for his humor and expression: his marvelous wit, his ability to turn any phrase into a punnable moment, his tendency to burst into song with a vast repertoire of lyrics suitable to most any occasion, his raised eyebrow, and a little soft shoe.

He is survived by his wife June Rabson Hare of Beer Sheva, Israel; their two sons—Simon Hare of Boston, MA, and Andrew Hare of Beer Sheva, Israel; four children from a previous marriage—Sharon E. Hare of Los Angeles, CA, Diana Hare of Philadelphia, PA, Mally O’Hare of Williamsburg, MA, Christopher Hare of Albuquerque, NM; and two granddaughters—Eva Hare of Chicago, IL, and Lulu Diaz-Hare of Boston, MA.

Paul Hare chose to be buried in the cemetery at Midreshet Sde Boker, in the heart of Israel’s Negev Desert on the edge of the breathtaking Zin valley, which rivals Arizona’s Grand Canyon for wild, spectacular beauty. The family suggests that memorial donations be made to a peace organization of choice.

Founders Green on a warm spring day.

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