|Personally, I really hate talk about 'concepts of the self'. I think we have lots of selves and none of them can be reduced into one, and we can never know what they all are. We are radically different to ourselves. |
Nevertheless, I was recently reading a very interesting book about affect (emotion) by Silvan Tomkins, a US 20th C psychologist and philosopher. He describes an exercise where he asks people to draw themselves, and then makes them close their eyes and 'repeat' the self-portrait. What you end up with, he argues, is a cariacature of a cariacature: something that people immediately are a little shocked by, but in the drawing there will be echoes or traces of things we feel about ourselves. I tried it and it really was interesting: in the original, I accidentally made myself look like Frankenstein (hardly a coincidence, if you know me, although I don't actually look like that); in the eyes-closed one, it was a lot clearer/less monstrous, but I was missing an arm and everything was spatially disconnected, the legs didn't connect with the torso, the eyes were standing out by themselves beside the head.
Perhaps this is useful for you, I don't know. The book is called Shame and her Sisters: A Silvan Tomkins Reader, edited by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick and someone else I can't remember. It's a great book anyhow, try to look at it in a library. The stuff about self-portraits in in one of the final chapters.