This article reports selected findings from the EC Horizon 2020-funded CHIEF project, which examined young people’s understandings of cultural identity and heritage across nine countries. Drawing on observational work and interviews, the article explores how young people in England attending two social organisations with non-formal educational remits, perceive and attach meaning to cultural belonging and intercultural encounter. The two organisations were based in very different settings and engaged young people with different characteristics: the first being based in a highly diverse urban area, the second in a low diversity rural community. By focusing on synergies between young people’s perceptions and experiences, we contribute insights to a growing literature which is problematising the binary definition of the convivial urban against the exclusionary rural in studies of diversity and intercultural encounter.
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