As I mentioned before, I'm starting an adventure into the world of "cultural studies." (I called it "media studies" before but doing more research I think that it really cultural studies.) My justification for this is below in my "media studies" post but maybe need to explain why I think this is different that what I used to think. (but before that- this is the best website for all this stuff, it goes on forever, and it has the best, explanation of the postmodern, and it's not be so theologian/culture watcher.)
So, I think that maybe people would totally agree with what I wrote below, that in the West the symbolic exchange and the creation and propigation of values/meaning happens through the media instead of thru religions, therefore we need to undestand how this happens to understand "where" we are.
So I think that many Christian culture watchers as definitely wanting to understand the "sign of the time" so that they might know how to live, but I think that too often it just means commentary on movies, music, or politics w/o diving any deeper than the surface of these medians. What we need is not to "notice" that media shapes culture and then use "media" to share the gospel (as consevatives do with the arts- pimping the arts).
We need to dig deepers, looking at how the foundations of "consumer culture" shape us, how the media links with Ideologies which subvert the gospel, and how technologies alienate us from ourselves/bodies/other, or how they might emancipate us.
Anyway,...I'm just beginning this journey. I'll let you know. I just bought "desert of the real" and "simulacra and simulation". we'll see where that leads.