DiSTO Spain


  • According to data from the National Observatory for ITC (ONTSI), in 2019 more than 90% of the Spanish domiciles have access to broadband connection, and 98,5% make use of Internet via mobile devices.
  • 91,3% of Spanish users make regular use of the internet (INE, 2020)
  •  For young people (10-15yo), the use of the internet reaches 92,9%, and 89,7% make use of a computer.

Projects in Spain

In Spain, the DiSTO project currently examines digital inequalities in two domains: e-learning and job opportunities.

Digital Inequality and e-learning: did the pandemic had an impact on academic results of young students in Madrid?

The objective of this research is to understand if material resources in a given district of a big city can shape digital opportunities and, eventually, have an impact on the outcomes of online education. In this sense, Madrid is an interesting case of study because:

  • High speed internet connection is available in all the districts of the city. However, not everybody can afford the costs of this kind of connection.
  • The lock down imposed by government during the pandemic has obliged all Spanish students to stay home and switch to online education.
  • In this context, it is reasonable to think that students whose homes had worst internet connection and technologies had several problems in attending online education.

The research

In order to achieve the objectives of this research, we will:

  • Use socio-economic indicators in order to create a map of the 21 districts of the city of Madrid.
  • Then we will choose 4 of those districts (one for each typology, depending on households’ socio-economic resources) and make a survey to young people (from 15 to 20 years old) who live in those districts.


This research project is founded by Fundación Reina Sofia sobre Juventud y Adolescencia and will be supported by the department of Sociology and Communication, University of Salamanca.

Digital Inequality and job opportunities: studying online platforms for job search in Spain

The objective of this research is to understand if internet users’ digital resources can increase the chances of obtaining a job online. In this sense, Spain is an interesting case of study because:

  • Its labor market is characterized by high unemployment rates, especially if compared with the rest of the EU (source: Eurostat)
  • digital channel for job seeking are becoming increasingly popular among job seekers in this country: from 13% to 24% in 10 years (source: Eurostat)

The research

In order to achieve the objectives of this research, we will:

  • Focus on the Spanish case study, analyzing online platforms for professional social networks.
  • Adopt a research strategy based on the simultaneous study of candidates and recruiters that operate through this platform.
  • Combine methodologies that are mostly used in computer sciences, such as those based on Big Data analysis, and "classical" research tools, such as questionnaires and in-depth interviews.


More specifically, this research will be based on the adoption of different research tools:

  • Big data analyses, in order to build an assessment tool for online reputation skills.
  • Online surveys, in order to study the relationship between internet users' digital resources and their ability to find a job online thanks to digital platforms for professional social networks.
  • In-depth interviews to be conducted with both job candidates and Human Resources technicians.


This research project is being founded by Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (Convocatoria proyectos I+D "Retos de la sociedad" 2018) and will be supported by the department of Sociology and Communication, University of Salamanca, and Guadalinfo, an Andalusian public platform for digital inclusion.

Research Team


Stefano copy

Stefano De Marco – Principal Investigator

Stefano De Marco is a Social Psychologist. He also obtained an MA in Constitutional Law at the Political and Constitutional Research Institute (Spanish Ministry of Presidency) and Ph.D. in Sociology at the Complutense University of Madrid. He has been working in several Spanish public institutes of research, like the National Sociological Research Centre, the Advanced Social Studies Institute and the National Institute for Educational Assessment. He is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Salamanca. He has been participating in several research projects on information society and on political participation in Spain, being his research interests related to digital divide and digital inequality, digital political participation and citizens’ involvement in political processes.


Daniel Sorando

Daniel Sorando is a sociologist and an assistant professor in the Applied Sociology Department at Complutense University of Madrid. Previously, he taught at NYU Madrid and was visiting scholar at Brown University (MA, USA). His research focus is on residential segregation, housing and social urban movements, with particular attention to gentrification processes and its link to inequality. On this issue, he is co-author of First we take Manhattan: la destrucción creativa de las ciudades [First we take Manhattan: the creative destruction of cities] (2016). He has published several journal articles and book chapters. Also, he has worked for several public administrations in the field of the sociology of youth and has been a member of different funded R&D projects.


Guillaume Dumont

Guillaume Dumont, Assistant Professor, OCE Research Center, EMlyon Business School (https://oce.em-lyon.com/guillaume-dumont/). From studying professional rock climbers in the Yosemite National Park to work alongside social entrepreneurs in Barcelona Technological District, Guillaume Dumont is an Anthropologist studying how people create things at work and what makes these things valuable. Ethnographic in nature, his work provides a sociological understanding of worth construction in organizational and entrepreneurial processes. 


José-Luis Martínez-Cantos

José-Luis Martínez-Cantos is Assistant Professor at the Department of Applied, Public and Political Economics of the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM). Previously, he was member of the Experts Group on gender issues of the Spanish National Observatory of Technology and Society (ONTSI), Post-doctoral Research Fellow and Lecturer in Applied Sociology at the Faculty of Education of the UCM, and Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute-IN3 of the Open University of Catalonia (UOC). His main research interests are linked to Digital Society, gender relations, educational opportunities and labour market inequalities.