To the nation-state you are a citizen.
To a queen you are a subject.
To a politician you are a constituent.
In the capitalist society you a a consumer.
To a person in the military you are a civilian.
An east asian nomadic tribe is not just a group of unemployed homeless people...
And each of these states are ubiquitous. Meaning to say, one is not just 10% a civilian. So they are all "first and foremeost", as something can not be more 100% than something else's 100%.
but what matters is from whose perspective that identification is assigned and/or that identity is formed. No label is objective and the source must be identified so that the relationship between the two things rubbing up against one another can be understood.
By using the words "first and foremost" you prioritize an aspect of how I am identified-- assigned by someone other than myself-- over those that I do assign myself.
I do not call myself a consumer because that is a slave name. And I'm seen as that through the eyes of people that want me to buy things. I am seen as that by people who want to use me.
Yes, it's true that this is not a hunter/gatherer society. I go out and buy things. And this has no doubt become our modality (meaning it has shaped aspects of my reality that extend beyond the contact point where I actually buy something. Aspects such as civil engineering, education, the calendar etc. )
But I would say my existance as a literate person in a visual society is just as ubiquitous, and gives me a perspective which is unique when compared to other humans who have lived without that symbolic layer (to draw that parallell between hunter/gather society and modern western society).
Existing in a literate culture equally shapes society in similar ways -- social engineering, education, etc. (ie McLuhan links the rise and fall of the Roman Empire to the ability to send messages via text on papyrus.)
But my point here isn't to say I am a literate person first and foremost. My point is to say there are many things whose states I'm in 100% of the time.......but according to who?
Secondly, if you would like to know how I identify myself, so that you know what labels I identify with more as compared to the 'consumer' handle...
First and foremost I am an artist. I make things and I consider many things and they have absolutely nothing to do with the market.
First and foremost I am a human. And art has been made by humans longer than it's been made by "consumers".