Ever since I attended a fantastic session at the 2004 AERA conference, I haven't been able to stop thinking about a model/metaphor of human identity that incorporates personal agency, socio-cultural influence, and environmental factors into the construction of the self. I don't know how original it is because I've been trying to finish my masters, and haven't had time to research what's already out there in terms of identity theories.
I call it "The Identity Star" and so far, it seems to make sense to me to use the star metaphor, although I don't know enough about astrophysics to know how soon that metaphor will break down. I do know that who we see ourselves as plays a huge role in what we know, and how we act and interact -- big issues in education.
I apologize up front for not researching whose theories are incorporated in it. So far, I'm honestly only aware of Brian Massumi's and Elizabeth Ellsworth's -- and I'm pretty sure I have their ideas wrong, and have branched out in directions they wouldn't want to claim ownership of.
Naturally, I'm very interested in getting feedback on it, and developing it. I hope to expand and fine-tune my thoughts on it further as I move through the PhD program.
Here's a 2.6MB interactive QuickTime presentation on what I have so far. Once it's loaded, you can use the arrow keys to navigate forward and backward through it. Unfortunately, the animations that enhance the presentation don't translate to the web version.