Can cultural studies do without anxieties? One very common trope in this field is the idea that a culture, as a whole, is worried about something. People are anxious about something happening (or what they think is happening, or will happen soon) in the "culture," and so different movies, or television shows, or popular songs, express or reflect this general level of anxiety. Usually, it is about women going back to work, or gender roles in general, or sexual boundaries, or race or class.
I'm not saying this is not a valid way of looking at culture, but it strikes me that I have rarely if ever seen it theorized or argued. It is just taken for granted that this is a valid model of how a culture works. All the cultural critic has to do is find out what the source of the anxiety is, and go to work finding symptoms of it. But does culture really work this way? How do we know this? Is this a Freudian model, in the end? The culture is like a guy with some complexes, some anxieties, which he expresses through some cultural symptoms, like making movies about monsters eating New York.
I haven't looked, but I can guarantee that I could find a cultural studies article arguing that zombie tv shows and movies express a cultural anxiety about whatever the critic happens to think people are worried about.