There is a problem with associations. It is that anything can be associated with anything. Donald Trump can be associated with Sydney; the association being ‘city at 150 km distance northeast of the airport he visited last year’. This is, technically speaking, an association. But this is meaningless and hence invalid.
But there are some valid commonsense-associations with an entity – like Donald Trump is associated with his wife, his bank balance, nationality etc. The difference between these associations – wife, bank balance etc. – and the earlier weird example is that ‘wife’ is an association associated with Trump (with a man in general; Trump in this case). There is thus a “double layer” of association in certain cases (like wife, family, bank balance, nationality etc.) which is that the kind of association (or simply the association) is also associated with the entity. This is by itself and generally. Whereas, the association ‘city at a certain distance in a certain direction relative to his place of visit’ is not an association associated with a man (Donald Trump, in this case), by itself, generally.
Simply speaking, there are some associations, which are associated with an entity, making them inseparably bound to it (like say, a man’s nationality and family).
(This is so Linguistically because when we say ‘Nationality is an association associated with a man’, the first word ‘association’ is what we accept to be one and thereby it follows that the second word – associated – becomes acceptable (it being a derivative of the first word ‘association’). Hence it (the first word) becomes legitimately associated with the man.)