A. PAUL HARE was an internationally known sociologist, teacher, author, civil rights activist and a man dedicated to finding peaceful solutions to conflicts that could lead to violence.

But he didn't hesitate to do a little soft-shoe dance when the spirit moved him and burst into song. He also enjoyed producing and performing in plays and comedies.

He once played Eronius in the 2003 production of "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" by the Light Opera Group of the Negev in Israel.

He was also a master of the pun. His memoir, published this year, is called "Funny Things."

Alexander Paul Hare Jr., professor emeritus in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Ben-Gurion University in Israel, died Oct. 31 in Be'er Sheva, Israel, from complications of a rare form of leukemia. He was 86.

Paul Hare, as he was known to friends and associates, was a dedicated Quaker and adviser to conscientious objectors. Nevertheless, he served in the Army in Europe in World War II.

As a sociologist, his interests were in analyzing the functions of people in groups, why people join groups and how they interact. He edited the 1955 classic collection titled "Small Groups: Studies in Social Interaction."

In numerous books and publications he analyzed the effects of social change, including the U.S. civil rights struggle, global peace movements, India's Shanti Sena (the peace army founded by Mahatma Gandhi), the fight against apartheid in South Africa and others.

Hare became interested in the Society of Friends at Swarthmore College in the 1940s. He became an active member of the Haverford and Radnor Friends Meetings, and other Quaker groups worldwide.

He served on the board of the Pendle Hill Quaker Center in Wallingford, Delaware County. He founded the Center for Nonviolent Conflict Resolution at Haverford College, and committed its archives to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection.

Paul Hare was born in Washington, D.C., and attended Swarthmore College. His education was interrupted by his service in the Army. He returned to Swarthmore after the war and received a bachelor's degree in English in 1947.

He earned a master's in sociology at the University of Pennsylvania in 1949, and a doctorate from the University of Chicago in 1951.

He taught at Princeton, Wellesley, Yale and Harvard. In 1960, he joined the faculty of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Haverford College.

Shortly afterward, the Kennedy administration appointed him to serve in the Philippines as deputy representative to the newly formed Peace Corps.

Fascinated by third-world transformations, he taught briefly at Makerere University in Uganda, University of Ibadan in Nigeria, University of Rhodesia (now the University of Zimbabwe), and University of Cape Town in South Africa.

He joined Martin Luther King Jr. on civil rights marches and protests.

At Haverford, the Center for Nonviolent Conflict Resolution sent teams of observers to hot spots of dissent around the country, notably Kent State University, in Ohio, where four students had been killed in 1970 during antiwar protests.

Hare traveled to South Africa in 1973 to head the Department of Sociology at the University of Cape Town, where he met his wife, the former June Rabson. In 1980, they moved to Israel where Paul joined the faculty of Ben-Gurion University.

Besides his wife, he is survived by two sons, Simon and Andrew; four children from a previous marriage, Sharon E. Hare, Diana Hare, Mally O'Hare and Christopher Hare, and two granddaughters.

Services: He chose to be buried in the cemetery at Midreshet Sde Boker in the Negev Desert.