Dissociation is what happens when compounds dissolve into individual ions in solution.
Carbon containing compounds do not dissociate in water completely and are generally weak conductors of electricity so we know they will be weak acids/bases.
Let's look at acetic acid (#CH_3COOH#) a weak acid as an example.
When acetic acid dissolves in water, the products are #CH_3COO^(1-)# and#H_3O^(1+)#.
However these ions tend to react again to form the original reagents, #CH_3COOH#and #H_2O#
When weak acids/bases react w/ water, the ions that form have a strong tendency to react w/ eachother giving us a chemical equilibrium (double arrow.)
Here's a picture to better show what is happening, notice the transfer of the #H#